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Poems in this collection come from several volumes published in the German between 1969-78. They expose, with bitter humor, injustice: "The freedom to open one's mouth / exists even when / some people proclaim / 'They are being made to shut up'...You need simply make a list of all / that comes out of mouths...Firstly screams / ...if all goes well / ...the voluntary confession." (p. 45) Fried was deeply involved in post World War II German politics and in politics in general. Stuart Hood writes: "Fried's poetry is remarkable because it expresses a spectrum of feeling in which there is no dividing line between the political and the personal." Political injustice is felt deeply and personally. Fried was a radical unattached to any party or idealogy.
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Erich Fried 1921-1988 Born in Vienna left for London in 1938, worked with the BBC. More than 20 of his works have been published 100 Gedichte ohne Vaterland won the 1978 International Publishers Prize Prix des Sept. Poems in this volume were written 1969-1978Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Invitation to Forget Don't be stupid says the wind The world goes on turning Everything changes One must forget what has been If you could forget your field says the poisoned crop and if you could forget your white house says the rubble...
and if you could forget your two sisters says the path to the graves and if you could forget the screams say the ears then you could stop courting danger then you could sail far away like a fig in a ships belly
that has been plucked and is free of its tree then you could be free like a grain of sand in the wind free at last of the native land you have lost
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