Poems by Cornelia Marks (Germany) / Translated from German into English by Marco Organo


cornelia marks - 1

Poems by Cornelia Marks (Germany)

Translated from German into English by Marco Organo





This was the kitchen

Cups and bowls made of clay

Lie on a heap of rubble

One once kept the sugar

For the bitter black coffee

And there

The bulbous cup of bright porcelain

Still untouched still at its place

As if the owner just left

To get some milk.


The town does not exist anymore

Only its shadow is left

Magnolia bloom every year

In the gardens of vanished houses

Sometimes a stork spreads its wings as a sign

On the radio the news about a wedding:

The bride wore a transparent veil and a white gown.


(Vukovar in ruins, educational journey in june 1999)





My room –

A prison to you

You followed the light

Against your destiny


Now you are here

Circling around me

Afraid, panicking


Off the walls

So white

That you’ll be visible

On them forever.


Does darting sideways

Flying in a zigzag

Mean that

You are tracking yourself?


At one point

You give up


As a dark spot

At the bright ceiling


I watch you



Visiting Goethe


Tell me what it was like, Zuleika,

How you loved your poet, loved so much,

That your smile, you couldn’t give him,

The hopeless tender touch of your hand,

The kisses you breathed into the void

Curdled to mysterious verses of dark amber

Making the “Divan”

A symbol of your love,

Every syllable a promising glance,

Every rhyme a heartbeat,

Every metaphor a hieroglyph

Of the longing both of you felt.


Pieces at exhibition whisper in chorus,

Hold him tight, don’t let him go…

Between all those showcases, old desks and clocks

I suddenly look right into the hazel of his eyes,

And I press it gently, that warm hand of the poet.






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