Friday, May 1, 2020

Questions From A Worker Who Reads – Bertolt Brecht

Who built the seven-gated Thebes?
Books merely mention the names of kings.
Did they carry the boulders?
And Babylon, destroyed many a times 
Who rebuilt it every time?
In which houses did the workers in glittering golden Lima lived?
And the evening,
The wall of China was completed,
where did all the masons vanish?

Great Rome, filled with triumphal arches -
Who erected those?
Whom did Caesars conquer?
Were there only palaces for everyone
In the glorious Byzantine?
In the magnificent Atlantis
Were they calling their slaves,
the night the sea swallowed it?

Young Alexander conquered India.
All alone?
Caesar defeated the Gauls.
Was there not even a cook with him?
Philip of Spain wept as he watched his fleet sink.
Did no one else wept for that?
Frederick II triumphed in the seven years' war
Who else won, besides him?

Every page has a victory.
Who cooked the victory feast?

Every decade, a Great Man.
Who paid for his expenses?

So many stories.
So many questions.

- Translated to English by Parvez

(Note: All material on this blog is copyrighted! Sharing of complete articles or their links, without editing and with due credit, is allowed for non-commercial purposes only. For publication or any other use, please contact the author.)

No comments: