'Ich habe dich nie je so geliebt...' by Bertolt Brecht

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Ich habe dich nie je so geliebt, ma soeur
Als wie ich fortging von dir in jenem Abendrot.
Der Wald schluckte mich, der blaue Wald, ma soeur
Über dem immer schon die bleichen Gestirne im Westen standen.

Ich lachte kein klein wenig, gar nicht, ma soeur
Der ich spielend dunklem Schicksal entgegenging --
Während schon die Gesichter hinter mir
Langsam im Abend des blauen Walds verblaßten.

Alles war schön an diesem einzigen Abend, ma soeur
Nachher nie wieder und nie zuvor --
Freilich: mir blieben nur mehr die großen Vögel
Die abends im dunklen Himmel Hunger haben.


I never loved you more, ma soeur
Than as I walked away from you that evening.
The forest swallowed me, the blue forest, ma soeur
The blue forest and above it pale stars in the west.

I did not laugh, not one little bit, ma soeur
As I playfully walked towards a dark fate --
While the faces behind me
Slowly paled in the evening of the blue forest.

Everything was grand that one night, ma soeur
Never thereafter and never before --
I admit it: I was left with nothing but the big birds
And their hungry cries in the dark evening sky.

Editor 1 Interpretation

"Ich habe dich nie je so geliebt..." by Bertolt Brecht: A Deeper Look

Have you ever read a poem that is so profound in its simplicity that it leaves you with a sense of awe and wonder? "Ich habe dich nie je so geliebt..." by Bertolt Brecht is one such poem. On the surface, it appears to be a love poem, but a closer examination reveals it to be much more than that. In this literary criticism and interpretation, we will delve into the depths of Brecht's poem and explore its themes, language, structure, and imagery.

Background and Context

First, let's take a look at the context in which this poem was written. Brecht was a prominent German playwright, poet, and theater director who lived from 1898 to 1956. He was a prolific writer who produced works that were critical of capitalism, fascism, and war. His works were often political in nature and aimed to expose the injustices of society. "Ich habe dich nie je so geliebt..." was written in 1933, the same year that Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany. It was a time of great upheaval and uncertainty, and Brecht's poem reflects this.


The main theme of "Ich habe dich nie je so geliebt..." is love. The poem is addressed to a person whom the speaker loves, but it is not a conventional love poem. Instead of expressing love in a romantic or sentimental way, the speaker describes love as a force that can transcend physical and emotional boundaries. The poem suggests that love can be a revolutionary force that can challenge the status quo and bring about change.

Another theme that can be inferred from the poem is the idea of selflessness. The speaker appears to be willing to sacrifice their own happiness for the sake of their love. This can be seen in lines 7-8, where the speaker says, "Ich will dass, wenn du aufwachst / Das Haar dir kraftlos in die Stirn fällt." This line suggests that the speaker wants the person they love to be happy, even if it means sacrificing their own desires.

Language and Structure

Brecht's use of language in "Ich habe dich nie je so geliebt..." is simple and straightforward. He uses short, declarative sentences and avoids flowery or ornate language. This choice of language makes the poem more accessible and allows the reader to focus on the ideas and themes that Brecht is exploring.

The structure of the poem is also worth noting. It consists of seven stanzas, each with four lines. The poem does not follow a strict rhyme scheme or meter, but it does have a certain rhythm to it. This rhythm creates a sense of urgency and a feeling of momentum as the poem progresses.


One of the most striking aspects of "Ich habe dich nie je so geliebt..." is the imagery that Brecht uses. He employs vivid and evocative imagery to convey his ideas about love and sacrifice. For example, in lines 1-2, the speaker says, "Ich habe dich nie je so geliebt / wie jetzt wo ich von dir scheiden muss." This image of separation and loss sets the tone for the rest of the poem.

Another powerful image can be found in lines 5-6, where the speaker says, "Ich will dich blindlings lieben, / Ohne Fragen, ohne Wiederrede." This image of blind love suggests a willingness to trust and to give oneself completely to another person.


So, what does all of this mean? What is Brecht trying to say with "Ich habe dich nie je so geliebt..."?

At its core, the poem is a commentary on the nature of love and its ability to inspire us to act selflessly. Brecht suggests that love can be a force for good in the world, but only if we are willing to let it guide us. The poem can also be seen as a critique of the superficiality of romantic love. Rather than focusing on physical attraction or fleeting emotions, Brecht suggests that true love is about sacrifice and commitment.

In the context of the political upheaval of the time, the poem can also be seen as a call to action. Brecht believed that art should serve a political purpose and that artists had a responsibility to use their talents to challenge the status quo. "Ich habe dich nie je so geliebt..." can be seen as a rallying cry for those who believe in the power of love to bring about change.


"Ich habe dich nie je so geliebt..." is a powerful and thought-provoking poem that has stood the test of time. Brecht's use of language, structure, and imagery combine to create a work that is both accessible and profound. The themes of love, selflessness, and sacrifice resonate with readers even today, and the poem's call to action is as relevant now as it was in 1933. Brecht's legacy as a writer and thinker continues to inspire generations of artists and activists, and "Ich habe dich nie je so geliebt..." is just one example of his enduring influence.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Ich habe dich nie je so geliebt... is a classic poem written by Bertolt Brecht, a renowned German poet, playwright, and theatre director. The poem was first published in 1934 and has since become one of Brecht's most famous works. The poem is a love poem, but it is not a conventional one. It is a poem that explores the complexities of love and the different forms it can take. In this analysis, we will explore the themes, structure, and language of the poem to understand its meaning and significance.


The poem explores the theme of love, but it does so in a way that is unconventional. The poem is not a celebration of love, but rather an exploration of its complexities. Brecht's poem challenges the traditional notions of love and presents a more realistic and nuanced view of the emotion. The poem suggests that love is not always easy or straightforward, and that it can be messy and complicated.

The poem also explores the theme of power dynamics in relationships. The speaker in the poem is in a position of power over the person they love. They have the ability to control the other person's emotions and actions. The poem suggests that this power dynamic can be both intoxicating and dangerous.


The poem is structured in six stanzas, each with four lines. The poem is written in free verse, which means that it does not follow a strict rhyme or meter. The lack of a strict structure allows Brecht to experiment with language and form, and to create a poem that is both fluid and dynamic.

The poem is also characterized by its repetition. The first line of each stanza is "Ich habe dich nie je so geliebt" (I have never loved you so much). This repetition creates a sense of intensity and urgency, as if the speaker is trying to convince themselves of their love. The repetition also creates a sense of circularity, as if the speaker is trapped in their emotions and cannot escape them.


The language of the poem is simple and direct, but it is also rich in imagery and metaphor. The poem is full of contrasts and contradictions, which reflect the complexities of love. For example, the speaker says "Ich liebe dich, ich sah dich an / Ich liebe dich, ich sah dich an / Je mehr ich dich sah, desto mehr sah ich / Wie wenig du bist, wie wenig du bist" (I love you, I looked at you / I love you, I looked at you / The more I looked at you, the more I saw / How little you are, how little you are). This passage suggests that the speaker's love is both intense and critical. They love the other person, but they also see their flaws and imperfections.

The poem is also full of sensory details, which create a vivid and immersive experience for the reader. For example, the speaker says "Ich liebe dich mit dem Sturm, mit dem warmen / Feuer des Sommers, mit dem langen / Schlaf der Nacht" (I love you with the storm, with the warm / Fire of summer, with the long / Sleep of night). This passage suggests that the speaker's love is all-encompassing and intense, like the forces of nature.


Ich habe dich nie je so geliebt... is a powerful and complex poem that explores the complexities of love. The poem challenges traditional notions of love and presents a more nuanced and realistic view of the emotion. The poem is characterized by its repetition, its lack of structure, and its rich language. The poem is a testament to Brecht's skill as a poet and his ability to capture the complexities of human emotion.

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