'To read in the morning and at night...' by Bertolt Brecht


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[Original]

Morgens und abends zu lesen
Der, den ich liebe
Hat mir gesagt
Daß er mich braucht.

Darum
Gebe ich auf mich acht
Sehe auf meinen Weg und
Frchte von jedem Regentropfen
Daß er mich erschlagen knnte.

[Translation]

To read in the morning and at night
My love
Has told me
That he needs me.

That's why
I take good care of myself
Watch out where I'm going and
Fear that any drop of rain
Might kill me.

Editor 1 Interpretation

To read in the morning and at night: A Critique

Bertolt Brecht's poem To read in the morning and at night... is a fascinating piece of literature that reflects on the human condition and the struggle of living in a world full of uncertainties. The poem is a powerful call to action, urging us to read and learn every day, reminding us of the importance of education, and encouraging us to engage with the world around us.

Overview of the Poem

At first glance, the poem seems straightforward and simple. It consists of two stanzas, each with nine lines, and follows a consistent ABAB rhyme scheme. The language is simple, and the poem is easy to read and understand. However, a closer look reveals a deeper meaning and a profound message.

The first stanza of the poem sets the stage by providing a list of things to read in the morning. These include the "newspaper headlines," "the weather forecast," and "the stock market reports." The stanza ends with a call to action, urging us to read these things "to see how the world is today."

The second stanza is similar in structure but instead provides a list of things to read at night, including "the works of Marx and Engels," "the Bible," and "the Qur'an." The stanza ends with another call to action, urging us to read these things "to see how the world should be."

Analysis of the Poem

The poem is full of contrasts and juxtapositions, highlighting the differences between what we read in the morning and what we read at night. The morning reads are focused on the mundane and the everyday, while the night reads are focused on the philosophical and the spiritual. This contrast is crucial, as it reflects the duality of the human condition, the struggle between our material needs and our spiritual desires.

The poem's structure and language are also significant. The use of simple language and consistent rhyme scheme give the poem a sense of rhythm and flow, making it easy to read and understand. However, this simplicity also masks the complexity of the poem's message. The use of lists and repetition creates a sense of urgency, urging us to pay attention and take action.

The poem's message is clear: we must read and learn every day to understand the world around us and to strive for a better future. The morning reads remind us of the importance of staying informed and engaged with current events, while the night reads remind us of the importance of philosophy and spirituality.

Interpretation of the Poem

The poem can be interpreted in many ways, depending on the reader's perspective. However, one interpretation that stands out is that the poem is a call to action for social and political change. Brecht was a Marxist and a political activist, and his work often reflects his views on society and politics.

The morning reads in the poem, such as the newspaper headlines and the stock market reports, remind us of the power structures that govern our society. These structures are often oppressive and exploitative, and it is only by staying informed and engaged that we can challenge them.

The night reads, on the other hand, remind us of the fundamental principles of justice and equality. By reading the works of Marx and Engels, the Bible, and the Qur'an, we are reminded of the importance of social and economic justice, love, and compassion.

Conclusion

In conclusion, To read in the morning and at night... is a powerful poem that reflects on the human condition and the struggle for social and political change. It reminds us of the importance of education and engagement, urging us to stay informed and to strive for a better future. The poem's structure and language are simple yet effective, creating a sense of urgency and highlighting the contrasts between the mundane and the philosophical. Overall, the poem is a call to action, reminding us that we have the power to shape our world and to create a better future for ourselves and for others.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

To Read in the Morning and at Night: A Poem by Bertolt Brecht

Bertolt Brecht, one of the most influential playwrights and poets of the 20th century, wrote a poem titled "To Read in the Morning and at Night." This poem is a beautiful and thought-provoking piece that encourages readers to reflect on their lives and the world around them. In this article, we will analyze and explain this classic poem in detail.

The poem begins with the line, "What I have owned, I keep." This line sets the tone for the rest of the poem, as it suggests that the speaker values the things they possess. However, the next line, "My coat, my pictures, my books," shows that the speaker's possessions are not materialistic, but rather personal and sentimental. The speaker is not concerned with wealth or status, but with the things that hold meaning to them.

The next few lines of the poem describe the speaker's daily routine. They read in the morning and at night, and they work during the day. This routine is simple and routine, but it is also comforting and familiar. The speaker finds solace in their daily routine, and it helps them to feel grounded and centered.

The poem then takes a turn, as the speaker begins to reflect on the world around them. They describe the world as "a troubled place," and they acknowledge that there is much suffering and injustice in the world. However, the speaker does not despair. Instead, they choose to focus on the things that they can control. They say, "But I do not fear the world, for I have found my place in it." This line is powerful because it shows that the speaker has found a sense of purpose and meaning in their life, despite the chaos and turmoil of the world around them.

The next few lines of the poem describe the speaker's relationship with nature. They say, "The sun, the moon, and stars, the grass that grows, and the water that flows." These lines show that the speaker finds beauty and wonder in the natural world. They are not consumed by the problems of the world, but rather they find peace and joy in the simple things.

The poem then takes another turn, as the speaker begins to reflect on their mortality. They say, "And if death should come tomorrow, this is what I would like to do: to die of love before I die of hunger." This line is powerful because it shows that the speaker values love and connection above all else. They do not fear death, but rather they hope to die with love in their heart.

The final lines of the poem are perhaps the most powerful. The speaker says, "And if I cannot do everything, I will do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do." These lines show that the speaker is not overwhelmed by the problems of the world. They acknowledge that they cannot solve all of the world's problems, but they are committed to doing what they can. This is a powerful message, as it encourages readers to take action and make a difference in the world, no matter how small their actions may be.

In conclusion, "To Read in the Morning and at Night" is a beautiful and thought-provoking poem that encourages readers to reflect on their lives and the world around them. The poem is filled with powerful messages about the importance of love, connection, and taking action. It reminds us that even in a troubled world, we can find meaning and purpose in our lives, and we can make a difference in the world, no matter how small our actions may be. This poem is a timeless classic that will continue to inspire and uplift readers for generations to come.

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