this is a lullaby for all those who resist when it’s time to go to sleep. a lullaby for all those who put up a fight, when somebody says: lights out, no more talking, my tired friends, in the bars all the chairs have been stacked on the tables, the billboards hum as the posters change, cameras film the empty bank foyers, all the night kiosks are alight, all the night buses purr through the illuminated cathedral
of the city. we are talking in pictures. but
do we have any idea how “darkness” is written? my tired, my night-blind friends, we’re waiting for good news, though good news is rare by day, we’re waiting for two or three of those good, humming dreams, four peace treaties, five apples in deep sleep, we are waiting for six cathedrals and for the seven fat cows, eight quiet hours full of sleep, we’re waiting for nine friends gone missing. we’re counting our fingers.
we’re still resisting. we won’t go to sleep. [End Page 56]
Ulrike Almut Sandig was born in Saxony in the former East Germany and now lives in Berlin. She has published four volumes of poetry as well as short stories and radio plays. Her newest collection is ich bin ein Feld voller Raps, verstecke die Rehe und leuchte wie dreizehn Ölgemälde übereinandergelegt (2016). She has collaborated on various projects with musicians and sound artists, producing the CD Märzwald (2011). Sandig has won numerous prizes including the Leonce-and-Lena Prize (2009) and the Droste Prize for Emerging Talent (2012).
Karen Leeder is a writer, critic, and translator, and is Professor of Modern German Literature at New College, Oxford. Recent publications include Volker Braun, Rubble Flora: Selected Poems (Seagull Books, 2014), with David Constantine, which was commended for the Popescu Poetry Prize in 2015, and the edited collection Rereading East Germany: The Literature and Film of the GDR (Cambridge University Press, 2016). Her translations of Durs Grünbein have appeared in a number of magazines including Poetry Review and Poetry. She was awarded the Stephen Spender Prize in 2013, an English PEN award, and an American PEN/Heim award in 2016.