Mittwoch, 15. Juni 2011

Mauerbau


1961. Das Jahr der politischen Rhetorik. Im Januar hatte John F. Kennedy den 87-jährigen Dichter Robert Frost gebeten, bei der Inaugurationszeremonie ein Gedicht vorzutragen. Das ist jetzt der neue Kennedy Stil, von einem Camelot on the Potomac werden die Journalisten bald schwärmen. Robert Frost hatte für diese Gelegenheit das Gedicht Dedication geschrieben, wo er am Anfang sehr ironisch auf diese Einladung einging:

Summoning artists to participate
In the august occasions of the state
Seems something artists ought to celebrate.
Today is for my cause a day of days.
And his be poetry's old-fashioned praise
Who was the first to think of such a thing.
This verse that in acknowledgement I bring
Goes back to the beginning of the end
Of what had been for centuries the trend;
A turning point in modern history.


Aber das ➱Gedicht blieb ungelesen. Robert Frost hatte Tränen in den Augen und konnte den zweizeilig getippten Text nicht entziffern. Es waren keine Tränen der Rührung, es war schweinekalt an diesem Januartag, und die Sonne, die noch vom Schnee reflektiert wurde, blendete ihn. Und da sagte er nach kurzem Zögern ein Gedicht auf, das er auswendig konnte. Es hieß The Gift Outright:











The land was ours before we were the land's.
She was our land more than a hundred years
Before we were her people. She was ours
In Massachusetts, in Virginia,
But we were England's, still colonials,
Possessing what we still were unpossessed by,
Possessed by what we now no more possessed.
Something we were withholding made us weak
Until we found out that it was ourselves
We were withholding from our land of living,
And forthwith found salvation in surrender.
Such as we were we gave ourselves outright
(The deed of gift was many deeds of war)
To the land vaguely realizing westward,
But still unstoried, artless, unenhanced,
Such as she was, such as she would become. 

Hätte er prophetische Gaben gehabt, hätte er vielleicht sein Gedicht Mending Wall aus dem Jahre 1914 vorgetragen, das um ein englisches Sprichwort - good fences make good neighbours - aus dem 17. Jahrhundert kreist:










Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
'Stay where you are until our backs are turned!'
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbors'.
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
'Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
Where there are cows?
But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down.' I could say 'Elves' to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me~
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."


Wenige Monate später, heute vor fünfzig Jahren, hat Walter Ulbricht den Satz Niemand hat die Absicht, eine Mauer zu errichten! gesagt. Die Worte des kleinen verlogenen Sachsen mit seiner Fistelstimme sind auf ewig ➱festgehalten.

Die ➱Mauer steht nicht mehr. In unserer Erinnerung ist sie immer noch da. Und wir sollten uns an jedem 15. Juni und an jedem 13. August immer wieder daran erinnern. Good fences make good neighbours.

1 Kommentar:

  1. Mir fällt da immer der Eintrag in meinem Roten Kalender von vor, na, dreißig Jahren am 17. Juni ein: "Aufstand in der DDR, kein Aufstand in der BRD. Seither Tag der deutschen Einheit."

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