Saturday Poem: Two poems by Hans Magnus Enzensberger

In Poetry on June 6, 2009 at 1:26 am

The Visit

When I looked up from my blank page
there was an angel in the room.

A rather commonplace angel,
presumably of lower rank.

You cannot imagine, he said,
the degree to which you’re dispensable.

Of the fifteen thousand hues of blue,
he said, each one makes more of a difference

Than anything you may do
or refrain from doing,

Not to mention the feldspar
or the Great Magellanic Cloud.

Even the most comm. Plantain, unassuming
as it is, would leave a gap. Not you.

I could tell from his bright eyes –
he hoped for an argument, for a long fight.

I did not move. I waited in silence
until he had gone away.



No, I am not a patch
on the breakfast egg.
It is perfect.
Sometimes I regret
that compared to the power pylon
I vacillate.
The good-natured moss
disarms me
when I lust for revenge,
and the rhino’s thinking —
straightforward as it is —
I can only admire.
Verily, my screwdriver
will outlast my brain.
I am impressed by the ant,
the way it fumbles and fumbles
for a crack in the wall,
since I am lazy.
An attractive idea
to be soft of heart
like the fig, and selfless
like the light-bulb. Sorry,
oil and vinegar, pepper and salt,
I’m sorry that unlike you
I am dispensable.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: