From My Realm of Shadows
Nobody describes the end of the world as beautifully as Günter Kunert:
“Parents / stepped out of the frame / and spoke / to their child: You are / now eighty years old and / need to grow up finally.”
Günter Kunert is one of the great voices of German literature, and, now in his nineties, he presents a volume of poetry that is also a reflection on himself, his own life story and on the violent history of his country, its utopias and lifelong lies. “Once convoys / passed through the streets/ with red flags”. Many readers will recognise his decorative imagery, full of pathos. But Kunert describes the true nature of people, who, “rolled up their flags and / toddled off.” Günter Kunert’s caustically clear vision is one that remains highly relevant in Germany.