Brecht: Poetry

Brecht’s Poetry

Brecht’s poetry is insightful and compelling, it ranks alongside the best poetry of Hölderlin and Heine. English language readers are recommended to invest in the new edition of Brecht’s poems translated by Tom Kuhn and David Constantine.

English Translation

Bertolt Brecht, The Collected Poems of Bertolt Brecht, trans. and ed. by Tom Kuhn and David Constantine (New York: W. W. Norton, 2018)

Further Reading in English

Walter Benjamin, ‘Commentaries on Poems by Brecht’, in Benjamin, Understanding Brecht, trans. by Anna Bostock (London: Verso, 1998), pp. 43-74

Joyce Crick, ‘Power and Powerlessness: Brecht’s Poems to Carola Neher’, German Life and Letters 53:3 (2000), 314-24

G. L. Jones, ‘Green Thoughts of the Dialectician: Bertolt Brecht’s Poem “Das Gewächshaus”’, Modern Language Review 83:4 (1988), 895-900

Tom Kuhn and Karen J. Leeder (eds.), Empedocles’ Shoe: essays on Brecht’s poetry (London: Methuen, 2002)

Hanns Otto Münsterer, The Young Brecht, trans. and intro. by Tom Kuhn and Karen J. Leeder (London: Libris, 1992)

Matthew Philpotts, The Margins of Dictatorship: Assent and Dissent in the Works of Günter Eich and Bertolt Brecht (Oxford and Frankfurt/Main: Peter Lang, 2003) [discusses the Buckower Elegien]

Ronald Speirs (ed.), Brecht’s poetry of political exile (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000)

Philip Thomson, The Poetry of Brecht: Seven Studies (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989)

Peter Whitaker, Brecht’s poetry: A Critical Study (Oxford: Clarendon, 1985)

Further Reading in German

Ingeborg Bachmann, ‘Bertolt Brecht: Vorwort zu einer Gedichtanthologie’, in Ingeborg Bachmann, Kritische Schriften, ed. by Monika Albrecht and Dirk Göttsche (Munich: Piper, 2005), pp. 458-62

Jan Knopf, Gelegentlich: Poesie. Ein Essay über die Lyrik Bertolt Brechts (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1996)