And until the desert of renown
Stops my mouth,
I will sing of bridges and gates,
I will sing of the common places.

And until I lie dead in its snare
I will not be caught up — in human fraud,
I will hit — the most difficult note,
I will sing — to the end of life!

Complaint of trumpets.
Eden of kitchen-gardens.
Spade and rake.
Forelock of the young man.

Day without date.
Willow past bloom.
Life laid bare:
Blood plowed under!

Lathered and thickset,
Lathered and lean:
— Get along, to the square?! —
Like a painting —

Like a painting
Except — also as in the odes:
Uproar of the unemployed,
Uproar of young men.

Hell? — True,
But also a garden — for
Women and soldiers,
Old dogs,
Small children.

“Eden — with quarrels?
With no — shells
Of oysters?
No chandelier?
No applique?!”

— They cried in vain:
To each —
His own.


Here passions run thin and rusty:
With dynamite in hand!
Here, often, conflagrations break out:
The gates burn!

Here hatred runs wholesale and en masse:
With reprisals by machine gun!
Here, often, inundations break in:
The gates float!

Here they weep, here they wail and peal
Into dawning silence.
Here young men under escort
Titter: Don’t try that with me!

Here they pay! Here by God and the Devil,
With their backs and their pleas!
Here, as if over a corpse, young men
Mourn themselves.

Here mothers roll over, smothering the baby . . .
— Bridges, sands, crosses on gates! —

Here the youngest is pimped to a shopkeeper, money squandered on drink . . .
By fathers . . .
— Bushes, crosses of nettles . . .

— Permit me.
— Forgive me.

23 April 1923