Shame of Europe | A poem by Günter Grass

Close to chaos, because the market is not just, you’re far away from the country which was your cradle.
What was searched and found with one’s soul, is now considered to be as worthless as scrap metal.

As a debtor put naked on the pillory, a country about which you used to say you were grateful, suffers.
Poverty doomed country whose maintained wealth adorns museums of the loot you kept.

Those [World War II German nazi occupation soldiers] who hit the country, blessed with islands, with the force of arms wore both uniforms and [books of German poet, inspired by ancient Greek poetry] Holderlin in their knapsacks.

Barely tolerated country whose colonels were once tolerated by you as an alliance partner.
Country which lost its rights, whose belt is tightened and tightened again by the cocksurely powerful.

Antigone defying you wearing black and all over the country, the people whose guest you have been wear mourning clothes.
However, outside the country, the Croesus resembling followers have hoarded all what glitters like gold in your vaults.

Booze at last, drink! [European] Commissioners’ cheerleaders shout.
However, Socrates gives you back the [hemlock poison] cup full to the brim.

Curse you as a chorus, which is characteristic of you, will the gods, whose Mount Olympus you want to steal.
You’ll waste away mindlessly without the country, whose mind invented you, Europe.

Günter Grass – 2012


Europas Schande

Ein Gedicht von Gunter Grass

Dem Chaos nah, weil dem Markt nicht gerecht,
bist fern Du dem Land, das die Wiege Dir lieh.

Read also:
Merci Jean-Luc!

Was mit der Seele gesucht, gefunden Dir galt,
wird abgetan nun, unter Schrottwert taxiert.

Als Schuldner nackt an den Pranger gestellt, leidet ein Land,
dem Dank zu schulden Dir Redensart war.

Zur Armut verurteiltes Land, dessen Reichtum
gepflegt Museen schmuckt: von Dir gehutete Beute.

Die mit der Waffen Gewalt das inselgesegnete Land
heimgesucht, trugen zur Uniform Holderlin im Tornister.

Kaum noch geduldetes Land, dessen Obristen von Dir
einst als Bundnispartner geduldet wurden.

Rechtloses Land, dem der Rechthaber Macht
den Gurtel enger und enger schnallt.

Dir trotzend tragt Antigone Schwarz und landesweit
kleidet Trauer das Volk, dessen Gast Du gewesen.

Au?er Landes jedoch hat dem Krosus verwandtes Gefolge
alles, was gulden glanzt gehortet in Deinen Tresoren.

Sauf endlich, sauf! schreien der Kommissare Claqueure,
doch zornig gibt Sokrates Dir den Becher randvoll zuruck.

Verfluchen im Chor, was eigen Dir ist, werden die Gotter,
deren Olymp zu enteignen Dein Wille verlangt.

Geistlos verkummern wirst Du ohne das Land,
dessen Geist Dich, Europa, erdachte.

Günter Grass – 2012