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Tue, Sep. 6th, 2011, 03:11 pm

Hello everyone :-)

See pictures of our gorgeous holidays on the outer Hebrides here :-)


Fri, Oct. 1st, 2010, 08:48 pm
Aus gegebem Anlass

Mein Lj scheint sich in ein gelegentliches Brecht - Gedichtpost zu verwandeln, aber nachdem ich heute so unsere Kanzlerin habe reden hören, drängte sich mir der folgende Gedankengang wieder auf:

Die Lösung
Nach dem Aufstand des 17. Juni

Ließ der Sekretär des Schriftstellerverbands

In der Stalinallee Flugblätter verteilen

Auf denen zu lesen war, daß das Volk

Das Vertrauen der Regierung verscherzt habe

Und es nur durch verdoppelte Arbeit

zurückerobern könne. Wäre es da

Nicht doch einfacher, die Regierung

Löste das Volk auf und

Wählte ein anderes?

Und nur zur Klarstellung: Ich will die im Gedicht beschriebenen Ereignisse nicht in ihrer moralischen Dimension mit denen des 17. Juni und den Verbrechen des SED Staates gleichsetzen; aber das Demokratieverständis unserer "Herren" erschreckt mich schon.

Sun, Apr. 4th, 2010, 08:08 pm
Happy Easter

Tomorrow is a long time ...

But that it has been almost three years now? Gee...

The only thing I wanted, really, was to post one of my favorite poems concerning Easter:

Frühling 1938
Heute, Ostersonntag früh
Ging ein plötzlicher Schneesturm über die Insel.
Zwischen den grünenden Hecken lag Schnee. Mein junger Sohn
Holte mich zu einem Aprikosenbäumchen an der Hausmauer
Von einem Vers weg, in dem ich auf diejenigen mit dem Finger deutete
Die einen Krieg vorbereiteten, der
Den Kontinent, diese Insel, mein Volk, meine Familie und mich
Vertilgen mag. Schweigend
Legten wir einen Sack
Über den frierenden Baum.

which translates (loosely) as such

Spring, 1938
Early this Easter Sunday Morning
A sudden snowstorm washed over the Island
The lawn between the greening hedges was covered with snow. My young son
took me to a peach tree standing small and crouched against the wall of our house
took me away from a poem in which I pointed my finger at those
who are preparing to wage a war, in which
the continent, this island, my people, my family and myself
may be utterly destroyed. Silently
with a piece of piece of rough linen we covered
the shivering tree.

Not only because of the dreadful weather outside, this is - still - one of my favorite poems :-)


Fri, Jun. 8th, 2007, 08:11 pm

*just a try --- I have not done this for, I don't know, years now.*


Morning dew

Berries that have become
and sweet over night,
set against
the fresh
wet green


that is
in reality birds,
bumble bees
the occasionally ship engine:
the unseen river nearby saying
I am always here.

This is not

I think, what we should long for!
This is (I think) what we should live.
in a while]
[one way
or the other]

Thu, Apr. 12th, 2007, 05:25 pm
Kurt is up in heaven now

Kurt is up in heaven now

Kurt Vonnegut dies at 84.

If you are registered at the NY times, get the facts here.


The following text is only to express my own personal bewilderment: How could he (“god forbid”) ever die? ;-)

In some way it is strange when you hear about famous people dying: Although you do not know them really, you still feel a loss. This is particularly true, I think, in the case of writers whose works have accompanied you for many years.

The first book of Vonnegut I encountered was, strangely enough, not Slaughterhouse Five, but Timequake, his 1997 novel. During the ten years that followed, I’ve come back to Vonnegut many times, traveling, as it were, through time together with his novels, to his early 1950’s stories and back to his latest collection of essays Man without a Country about which I had my pupils write an English exam earlier this year. And during these travels I made many a stop in-between, all of which I felt worth the while.

Vonnegut got me hooked at once with his dark sense of humor, his humanism, his concern for the planet, his dreams and, ultimately, his resignation that can be felt throughout Man Without a Country, a small volume which gives an idea of what it must have been like be a liberal in the US during the last decade.

But Vonnegut is more than this: With Vonnegut, there is a universe of thought to discover. I don’t really know if it is high art, I (as well as Vonnegut himself) guess not; but he is one of my personal favorites. Sorry, can’t be helped. And imho it is quite a loss to not have him around any longer. Not having him there to remind us of the fact that we are “really crazy animals“. We do need it more than ever.

Anticipating his death (which may be a natural thing to do at 84 ;-) ), he left us the following epitaph himself.


Do you know what a Humanist is? I am honorary president of the American Humanist Association, having succeeded the late, great science fiction writer Isaac Asimov in that functionless capacity. We Humanists try to behave well without any expectation of rewards or punishments in an afterlife. We serve as best we can the only abstraction with which we have any real familiarity, which is our community.
We had a memorial services for Isaac a few years back, and at one point I said, ''Isaac is up in Heaven now.'' It was the funniest thing I could have said to a group of Humanists. I rolled them in the aisles. It was several minutes before order could be restored. And if I should ever die, God forbid, I hope you will say, ''Kurt is up in Heaven now.'' That’s my favorite joke.

Wed, Feb. 14th, 2007, 03:48 pm
Valentines day with Frank McCourt

Happy you-all-know-what :-)

At the moment I am reading Frank McCourt's "Teacher Man" and I stumbled across the following quote today, which imho really fits the occasion.

Her are Mr. McCourt's young man's thoughts on how to date a fellow student:

"I thought some day I'd run into her and find my tongue and we'd go to a movie together. I'd choose something foreign with subtitles to show how sophisticated I was and she'd admire me and let me kiss her in the dark, missing a dozen [sic] subtitles and the thread of the story. That would not matter because we'd have plenty to talk about in a cozy Italian restaurant where candles flickered and her red hair twinkled back and who knows what that would lead to because that was as far as my dreams would go."

Have a really nice (and, if you feel like it, romantic) evening everybody, with or without subtitles,


PS.: The music below is really a recommendation :-)

Sun, Feb. 4th, 2007, 09:57 am

When you read number eight, you'll find that you are actually required to post this as well - - beware -- ;-))

But honestly, how could I resist this?

Comment and I will:

1) Tell you why I friended you.
2) Associate you with a song/film.
3) Tell a random fact about you.
4) Tell a first memory about you.
5) Associate you with a character/pairing.
6) Ask something I've always wanted to know about you.
7) Show you my favourite user pic of yours.
8) In retort, you must spread this disease in your LJ.

Tue, Oct. 31st, 2006, 07:37 pm
Haloween Present

Ah, Halloween night.

And what would be Halloween without a scary story or poem?

So here is my second favourite ghost poem for you ;-):

Strange meetings at a wedding, an albatross, a crossbow, ghost ships, what more can you want? The

Rime of the Ancient MarinerCollapse )

But a mere poem is not much of a present, is it?

So use this link to download the 1950's James Mason reading of the poem.

It has the charm, but also the shortcomings of a 1950's reading; but all in all it is very enjoyable. (And I do like James Mason reading ;-) Great voice!)

Since the recording is that old, I think it is in the public domain; and if not, I do not think that more than 7 of my friends will download it anyhow, so I guess I am on the safe side here ;-)


oh, and if you care for a version of the poem containing the original 1858 ilustrations, you can go here:


So take a nice glass of red wine, get your mp3 player ready and

enjoy a scary half an hour ;-)


Sun, Sep. 10th, 2006, 06:35 pm
Things really nice

Goodness me, the last lj entry I have written was in May? You all must think me dead ...

Well, I am not, really ;-)

Coming to think of it, I feel pretty much alive :-).

But the last two days were so nice, that I thought I might share the fun :-)

As it happens; it was 11 year ago to the very day, that I met bimo for the first time; strangely enough not here in Germany, but in a during a University Trip to Portsmouth and London, while walking to an obsure museum (I could really not telly you what it showed but it was in Portsmouth alright … ) .

This picture shows some of us eleven years back; including bimo on the left and our university teacher, Ms von Schoff, second on the right, visiting the naval dockyards in P.

Nostalgic, aint it? ;-)

But considering that 11 years is quite an amount of time, it is a really warm and pleasant thought to know that the two of us still actually quite like each other. (This is, at least, what I severely hope ;-)) )

We usually do something or the other in remembrance of this day, but this weekend we planned something really out of the ordinary: Yesterday evening we went to Essen in order to see Mr. B.B. King on his final farewell tour. And it was a concert to remember. A really hypnotizing mix of Blues, Jazz and Rock' Roll; and an incredibly energetic B.B. who sadly does his very lat tour through Germany at the moment (last chance to see: Tomorrow in Munich). With him, and his fantastic band, a style of music will disappear from the stage which, with out any exaggeration, can be called the most exiting urban blues ever played.

Today continued less exiting, but still perfectly beautiful, because we took a stroll through a market down by the Duisburg harbour; and all this in perfectly sunny weather and enjoyable 26 degrees of warmth. (the kind of weather that we expected, but did not get through the whole of August: I do feel cheated ;-) )

The weather made it possible that I, while bimo has gone off for home, could do the preparations for the lessons tomorrow out in the park under a tree in the sunshine :-) (as well as read some pages of Bill Bryson's "Life and Times of the Thunderbolt kid", which is quire enjoyable.

One question remains: Does all this justify to break four months of silence? Well, you have to begin somewhere, don't you ;-)). I promise to be around at least once a month from now on.

Oh, and one P.S.: The two of us will be at Stratford around Oct 1, and maybe we will also be in London for a day (if anybody fancies meeting the two of us, crazy as we are ;-) )


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