Thursday, November 23, 2006

Günter Eich: Listening to the rain

Günter Eich

The Rain’s Messages

(Botschaften des Regens)

News, that’s meant for me
shaken from rain to rain
scattering across slates and tiles
spreads like a virus, like unwelcome
contraband -

Across the wall the windowpanes
rattle their alphabets
and the rain speaks
in the language I thought
only I could understand -

the rain sends
its despairing bulletins
the rain radios misery
and falls blaming, recriminating
as if of all people
I should be held accountable

Let me say this as clearly as I can
I’m not afraid of the rain
or its accusations
nor of whoever sent them
When the time is right, and only then
I’ll go outside and answer him

version by The Cat Flap


Anonymous said...

I really like this quintessentially European poem. Despite the resigned bleakness of it there's a sense of hope and determination. I particularly like the image of the rain's "accusations".

Would be interested in seeing more of his poems in translation.

Pb. said...


Just to let you know that The Cat Flap has been nominated for Best Cultural Blog in the Irish Blog Awards. - full list of nominations is at

Best of luck!

CoralPoetry said...


You have an interesting blog, full of poetic resources. I have bookmarked it to read through your archives, something which most bloghoppers seem relucant to do.


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