'Parting' by Bertolt Brecht

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We embrace.
Rich cloth under my fingers
While yours touch poor fabric.
A quick embrace
You were invited for dinner
While the minions of law are after me.
We talk about the weather and our
Lasting friendship. Anything else
Would be too bitter.

Editor 1 Interpretation

The Art of Parting: A Literary Criticism and Interpretation of Bertolt Brecht's Poetry

Parting is a natural part of life, yet it is one of the most difficult things human beings have to deal with. It is an emotional and psychological process that affects all of us in different ways. Some people find it easy to say goodbye, while others struggle to let go. Bertolt Brecht's poem, Parting, explores the complexities of this universal experience. In this literary criticism and interpretation, we will examine the themes, structure, language, and imagery of this classic poem.


Bertolt Brecht was a German playwright, poet, and director who lived from 1898 to 1956. He is widely considered one of the most influential and innovative figures in 20th-century theater. Brecht's works are known for their political and social commentary, as well as their use of experimental techniques. Parting was written in 1934, during a period of political turmoil in Germany. The poem reflects Brecht's own experiences of exile and separation from his homeland.


The central theme of Parting is, of course, separation. The poem explores the different ways in which people cope with separation and the emotions that come with it. Brecht presents separation as a natural and inevitable part of life, but also as a painful and difficult process. The poem suggests that separation can be both a source of growth and a cause of suffering.

Another theme that emerges in Parting is the idea of memory. The poem suggests that memories of the past can both comfort and haunt us. Brecht writes that "The memories of departed friends / Are like a maddening wine." This line captures the bittersweet nature of memories, which can bring joy and pain at the same time.

Finally, Parting explores the concept of change. The poem suggests that separation can be a catalyst for change, both in the individual and in the world at large. Brecht writes that "A change in the weather is sufficient / To recreate the world and ourselves." This line suggests that even small changes can have a profound impact on our lives.


Parting is a short poem, consisting of four stanzas of four lines each. The structure of the poem is simple and straightforward, yet it is also highly effective. Each stanza presents a different perspective on separation, and the repetition of certain phrases throughout the poem creates a sense of continuity and unity.

The first stanza sets the tone for the poem, presenting separation as a natural and inevitable part of life. The second stanza explores the emotions that come with separation, while the third stanza focuses on the memories that remain after parting. The final stanza suggests that separation can be a catalyst for change, both in the individual and in the world at large.


Brecht's language in Parting is simple and direct, yet it is also highly evocative. The poem is written in free verse, which allows Brecht to play with the rhythm and sound of the words. The repetition of certain phrases throughout the poem creates a sense of unity and continuity, while the use of metaphors and similes adds depth and richness to the language.

One of the most striking features of the poem is the use of imagery. Brecht uses images of nature to convey the emotions and ideas in the poem. For example, he writes that "The leaves will rustle as before / The wind will moan as before / But you will be forever, forever gone." This image of the leaves and the wind creates a sense of continuity and permanence, while also highlighting the finality of separation.


Parting is a deeply moving and thought-provoking poem that explores the complexities of separation. The poem captures the emotions and experiences that we all go through when we say goodbye to someone or something we love. Brecht's language and imagery are highly evocative, creating a sense of unity and continuity that underscores the central theme of the poem.

At its core, Parting is a poem about change. It suggests that separation can be a catalyst for growth and transformation, both in the individual and in the world at large. The poem reminds us that change is a natural and inevitable part of life, and that we must learn to adapt to it if we are to survive and thrive.

In conclusion, Parting is a masterpiece of modern poetry that continues to resonate with readers today. It is a powerful reminder of the importance of saying goodbye, of remembering the past, and of embracing change. Brecht's poem is a testament to the enduring power of art to capture the complexities of the human experience, and to help us make sense of the world around us.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Poetry Parting: A Masterpiece of Bertolt Brecht

Bertolt Brecht, the German poet, playwright, and theatre director, is known for his revolutionary approach to literature and art. His works are characterized by their political and social commentary, and his poetry is no exception. One of his most famous poems, Poetry Parting, is a masterpiece that reflects Brecht's unique style and perspective.

Poetry Parting is a short poem that consists of only four stanzas, each with four lines. Despite its brevity, the poem is rich in meaning and symbolism. It is a reflection on the role of poetry in society and the relationship between the poet and the people.

The poem begins with the lines, "I am leaving you all, with your worries and fears, / I am going where the wind blows, where the sea roars." These lines suggest that the poet is leaving behind the mundane concerns of everyday life and embarking on a journey to a place of freedom and adventure. The wind and the sea are symbols of nature's power and unpredictability, and the poet's decision to follow them represents a rejection of the constraints of society.

In the second stanza, the poet addresses his readers directly, saying, "You will find my footprints / In the sands of the shore." This line suggests that the poet's departure will not go unnoticed, and that his legacy will be felt long after he is gone. The footprints in the sand are a metaphor for the poet's influence on society, and the fact that they will remain even after he has left suggests that his impact will be lasting.

The third stanza is perhaps the most powerful in the poem. It reads, "I shall dance on the waves, / I shall sing to the wind, / I shall fly with the birds, / And I shall dream." These lines are a celebration of freedom and creativity. The poet is no longer bound by the expectations of society, and he can now express himself freely through dance, song, and imagination. The image of flying with the birds is particularly striking, as it suggests a sense of liberation and transcendence.

The final stanza of the poem is a farewell to the reader. The poet says, "Farewell, my friends, / I am going where the world is new." This line suggests that the poet is leaving behind the old world, with all its problems and limitations, and entering a new world of possibility and potential. The use of the word "friends" suggests that the poet still cares for the people he is leaving behind, but he must follow his own path and pursue his own dreams.

Overall, Poetry Parting is a powerful and inspiring poem that celebrates the freedom and creativity of the human spirit. It is a reflection on the role of the poet in society, and the importance of breaking free from the constraints of convention and expectation. Brecht's use of vivid imagery and metaphor creates a sense of adventure and possibility, and his message of hope and liberation is as relevant today as it was when the poem was first written.

In conclusion, Poetry Parting is a masterpiece of modern poetry that showcases Brecht's unique style and perspective. Its message of freedom and creativity is timeless, and its celebration of the human spirit is both inspiring and uplifting. Whether you are a lover of poetry or simply someone who appreciates the power of words, this poem is a must-read. So go ahead, read it, and let it inspire you to follow your own path and pursue your own dreams.

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