Faksimile

Text


box 33/3
t
2. Cut ings
HERMANN BROCH
71
before us alone: the mother of the rich beside the mother of the poor,
all equally downtrodden (dejected) and crushed, all equally grief-stricken:
Your son was mine
and my son yours.
The death of our sons
made us one.
My lap is empty,
desolate both.
Here also, as in“
The Sleep-walkers,'’ the world is first introduced, then
understood and finally overcome.
In your sorrows you have found yourselves,
in the sorrowful pregnancy of your love.
Fettered by pain, you are freed from pain.
Oh mighty pain and sorrow, creator of worlds
upon worlds.
Let the dirge for your dead continue for ever.
From your pain and sorrow a new world will be born.
A crv of despair, through which nevertheless a silvery note of hope
is heard. How far are we removed from the grace and charm, the blisstul
joy of living of pre-war days; how far removed from Schnitzler and
Rilke and Hofmannsthal; how difficult to find our way back to such an
unaffected, care-free state. Of course, there is no lack of advocates of an
old-time, easy-going“ Gemütlichkeit. Thev are false witnesses tothe
gravity of our time, however; nor do they hear the voice of true joy,
the volce of unselfish kindness of heart. The true witness is seen in
Hermann Broch, who among a few others, including Robert Musil, truly
deserves to be heard outside his own country. For he knows that the duty
of a poet is to understand and to help.