Hans Arp, ‘With his steam engine he goads…’

Giorgio de Chirico, Mystery. 'For a work of art to be truly immortal, it must completely go beyond the limits of the human; common sense and logic will fail. In this manner it will approach the dream and the mentality of childhood.' (1911-13)

My translation of another poem by Hans Arp. Three other poems of his can be found as a post in October.

[Hans or Jean Arp: 1887- 1966, French-German poet and artist, member of the expressionist Der Blaue Reiter in pre-Great War Munich and founded the Dadaist Cabaret Voltaire 1916 in Zurich with Ball, Tzara, Janco and Huelsenbeck.]


With his steam engine he goads
hat by hat out of his hat
and sets them up ring-a-rosy
as you do soldiers.

Then he fills each hat with blood
and smears himself with flag fat
says cocka-thou to cocka-you
and climbs gun uncocked into bed.

In bed he dreams of hat and blood
of some old and red routine.
It rolls, it crowds around him
to an evil tune.


~ by Peter Lach-Newinsky on November 11, 2010.

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