In much the same way as Kandinsky broke with the confines of expressionist-style representational art to portray more abstract realities in his paintings and Schönberg fled the limitations of existing musical notation to create sounds that hang in the air with the weight of the piano they’re being played on,
August Stramm shook off the confines of the grammar of his native German – a strongly regulated language — to create purer forms of expression.
For this year, the 100th Anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, I decided about two years ago, as many obviously also decided, to translate German First World War poets. At school we had WW1 poetry rammed down our throats. They were all English (and not more generally “British”) poets, but I was one of those nerdy pupils who loved it. Of course the “losing side” (whatever that means) also wrote poetry which was largely…
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