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The Verse of Alfred Lichtenstein

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80 pages
Project Gutenberg's The Verse of Alfred Lichtenstein, by Alfred LichtensteinThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it,give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.netTitle: The Verse of Alfred LichtensteinAuthor: Alfred LichtensteinPosting Date: July 26, 2009 [EBook #4369] Release Date: August, 2003 First Posted: January 18, 2002 Last Updated:February 6, 2008Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE VERSE OF ALFRED LICHTENSTEIN ***Produced by Michael PullenThe Verse of Alfred Lichtenstein(a critique by Lichtenstein himself)IBecause I believe that many do not understand the verse ofLichtenstein, do not correctly understand, do not clearly understand—IIThe first eighty poems are lyric. In the usual sense. They are not much different from poetry that praises gardens. Thecontent is the distress of love, death, universal longing. The impulse to formulate them in the "cynical" vein (like cabaretsongs) may, for example, might have arisen from the wish to feel superior. Most of the eighty poems are insignificant.They were not presented to the public. All except one (one of the last) That is: I want to bury myself in the night, Naked and shy. And to wrap darknesses around my limbs And warm luster. I want to wander far behind the hills of the earth. Deep beyond the gliding ...
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LPircohjteecnt sGteuitne, nbbye rAglf'rs eTd hLei cVhteersnes toefi nAlfredThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere atno cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under theterms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.netTitle: The Verse of Alfred LichtensteinAuthor: Alfred LichtensteinPosting Date: July 26, 2009 [EBook #4369]Release Date: August, 2003 First Posted: January18, 2002 Last Updated: February 6, 2008Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERGEBOOK THE VERSE OF ALFRED LICHTENSTEIN***Produced by Michael Pullen
The Verse of Alfred Lichtenstein(a critique by Lichtenstein himself)IBecause I believe that many do not understand theverse ofLichtenstein, do not correctly understand, do notclearly understand—
IIThe first eighty poems are lyric. In the usual sense.They are not much different from poetry thatpraises gardens. The content is the distress oflove, death, universal longing. The impulse toformulate them in the "cynical" vein (like cabaretsongs) may, for example, might have arisen fromthe wish to feel superior. Most of the eighty poemsare insignificant. They were not presented to thepublic. All except one (one of the last) That is:  I want to bury myself in the night,  Naked and shy.  And to wrap darknesses around my limbs  And warm luster.  I want to wander far behind the hills of the earth.  Deep beyond the gliding oceans.  Past the singing winds.  There I'll meet the silent stars.  They carry space through time.  And live at the death of being.  And among them are gray,  Isolated things.  Faded movement  Of worlds long decayed.  Lost sound.  Who can know that.  My blind dream watches far from earthly wishes.
IIIThe following poems can be divided into threegroups. One combines fantastic, half-playfulimages: The Sad Man, Rubbers, Capriccio, ThePatent-Leather Shoe, A Barkeeper's CoarseComplaint. (First appeared in Aktion, inSimplicissimus, in March, Pan and elsewhere).Pleasure in what is purely artistic is unmistakable.Examples: The Athlete: in the background is ademonstration of a view of the world. The Athlete…means that it is terrible that a man must alsointellectually move his bowels.—Rubbers: a manwearing rubbers is different without them.
VIThe earliest poetry forms a second group:TwilighttTihmee  iantnedn tsipoan cies  itno  fealivmoirn oaft et hteh ei ddeifaf eorf epnoceet rbye. tTwheeenpoems want to represent the effect of twilight onthe landscape.In this case the unity of time is necessary to acertain degree. The unity of space is not required,therefore not observed. In twelve lines the twilightis represented on a pond, tree, field, somewhere…its effect on the appearance of a young man, awind, a sky, two cripples, a poet, a horse, a lady, aman, a young boy, a woman, a clown, a baby-carriage, some dogs is represented visually. (Theexpression is poor, but I can find nothing better)The author of the poem does not want to portray alandscape that is thought to be real. The poetic arthas the advantage over painting of offering "ideal"images. That means—in respect to the Twilight:the fat boy who uses the big pond as a toy, andthe two cripples on crutches in the field and thewoman on the city street who was knocked downby a cart-horse in the half-darkness, and the poetwho, filled with desperate longing, is thinking in theevening (probably looking through a skylight), andthe circus clown in the gray rear building who issighing as he puts on his boots in order to arrive
sighing as he puts on his boots in order to arrivepunctually at the performance, in which he must befunny—all these can produce a poetic "picture,"although they cannot be composed like a painting.Most still deny that, and for that reason recognize,for example, in the "Twilight" and similar picturesnothing but a mindless confusion of strangeperformances. Others believe, incorrectly, thatthese kinds of "ideal" pictures are possible inpainting (for example, the Futurist mish mash).The intention, furthermore, to grasp the reflex ofthings directly—without superfluous reflections.Lichtenstein knows that the man is not stuck to thewindow, but stands behind it. That the baby-carriage is not screaming, but the child in the baby-carriage. Because he can only see the baby-carriage, he writes: the baby-carriage cries. Itwould have been untrue lyrically had he written: aman stands behind a window.By chance, it is conceptually also not untrue: a boyplays with a pond. A horse stumbles over a lady.Dogs swear. Certainly one must laugh in an oddway when one learns to see: that a boy actuallyuses a pond as a toy. How horses have a helplessway of stumbling… how human dogs express theiregarSometimes the representation of reflection isimportant. Perhaps a poet goes mad—makes adeeper impression than—a poet stares stifflyahead—Something else compelling in the poem: fear and
things that resemble reflection, like: all men mustdie… or: I liw lton  ebam only a little book discussed reh.efo tcipru settah
VThat Twilight and other poems take thingsstrangely (The comic is experienced tragically. Therepresentation is "grotesque"), to notice theunbalanced, incoherent nature of things,arbitrariness, confusion… is not, in any case, thecharacteristic of "style." Proof is: Lichtensteinwrites poems in which the "grotesque" disappears,without notice, behind the "ungrotesque."Other differences between older poems (forexample, Twilight) and later ones (for example,Fear) in the same style are detectable. One mightobserve that ever increasing idiosyncraticreflections about landscape clearly break through.Certainly not without artistic purpose.
IVThe third group consists of the poems of Kuno.nhoKAlfred Lichtenstein(Wilmersdorf)The Athlete  A man walked back and forth in his torn slippers  In the small room  He inhabited.  He thought about the events  About which he was informed by the eveningpaper.  And sadly yawned, the way only that man yawns  Who has read much that is strange—  And the thought suddenly overcame him,  Like a timid person who gets gooseflesh,  And the way the person who stuffs himself  Starts to burp,  Like a mother in labor:  The great yawn might perhaps be a sign,  A nod from fate,  To lie down to rest.  And the thought would not leave him.  And then he began to undress…  When he was stark naked, he lifted something.
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