Friday, 1 October 2010

Bertolt Brecht (translated by John Willett) - The Burning of the Books.

When the Regime commanded that books with harmful
Should be publicly burned and on all sides
Oxen were forced to drag cartloads of books
To the bonfires, a banished
Writer, one of the best, scanning the list of the
Burned, was shocked to find that his
Books had been passed over. He rushed to his desk
On wings of wrath, and wrote a letter to those in power
Burn me! he wrote with flying pen, burn me! Haven't
my books
Always reported the truth? And here you are
Treating me like a liar! I command you:
Burn me!

From:- Poems 1913 -1956 by Bertolt Brecht, Methuen, London.


  1. Crisp translation, thank you! In the first line there is a typo "commaded" > commanded.

  2. Thank you kindly for your diligence, corrected.