Synopses & Reviews
A billingual collection showing the range of Brecht's poetry, from the early Manual of Piety to the late Songs, Poems, and Choruses, including songs from his theater works. Translated and introduced by H.R. Hays.
Although he is best known in the United States for his theater works, Bertolt Brecht is considered one of the greatest of modern German poets. He is supreme among modern poets in any language for his simple, direct, powerful style, which combines poetic sensibility and social consciousness. After a period of expressionistic writing in the 1920's Brecht reacted against the tradition of romantic individualism and set out to strip poetry of ornamentation and sentimentality. He wrote poems that were spare, functional, shaped to teach a lesson -- poems intended to be understood by ordinary people. His most popular poems are his ballads (which he composed to the accompaniment of a guitar), a poetic form that he could transform into a cry of protest, a marching song, or an instrument of satire.