- Night by the Tower
Click for larger view
View full resolution
To Paul Schmidt *
Spurts of blood down the wall Ivy ablaze Out of the skulls of the towers the leaves soar up A whirring like flocks of birds across the nocturnal river In the breath of the night Hypno’s lurid song The wing at his temple a petrified shadow The bars of loneliness growing into the flesh At the airport terminals At the libraries Morus amidst the ruins of Amaurotum A shadow town behind the fog’s tangle of fear Don’t sleep Don’t sleep Macbeth does murder the sleep In the cold moon the axe and necks are mirrored Above the scaffold the laughter of dancing ravens Here a different wind blows An alien sky But the dead climb ashore from the river and sing It is a pity and would move a monster Sleep Whispers the dark god by the abyss Sleep Cool those scars in your inmost skin Forget that throbbing of your open wounds The dead are walking through the night like torches Their storm song fading with the flying sparks
Holger Teschke writes, translates, and directs theater in Berlin and South Hadley, Massachusetts. In addition to his own plays and radio plays, he has also directed plays by Müller, Büchner, Lenz, Beckett, and Christoph Hein. As chief dramaturg at the Berliner Ensemble, Teschke has worked with Heiner Müller, Peter Palitzsch, and Robert Wilson.
* This issue of new translations is dedicated to the memory of Paul Francis Schmidt (1934–1999), our colleague and friend, who frequetnly contributed his translations, articles, and spirited advice to Theater. His version of Racine’s Phèdre and an interview with his frequent collaborator Liz Diamond are included in this issue.