The Sound of German



When I hear the sound of German Speech

The syllables crown my head with Thorns

The jagged consonants knive and breach

The vowels — braggart, angry horns

The V’s are violently so free

Injecting venom, savage spleen

The wistful W’ grotesquely

Become an aged, dowager queen

And murmurs become manifestos

That march with Prussian certitude

All nuance shouted down with bellows

The beer-hall men so vulgar, crude

The sounds are sexless grunting gasps

An awkward couple’s cacophony

A rusty lover’s wretched rasps

A bitter burgher’s jealousy:

Toward Latin, lovely flowing words

The Seine, the Thames, the moving feast

The songs exalting heaven’s birds

All eaten by the eagled beast

Copyright, David Gottfried, 1999


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