Hands

Hands
death’s gardener,
you who from the cradle-camomile of death
growing on the hard paddocks
or hillside,
have bred
the hothouse monster of your trade.
Hands,
what did you do,
when you were the hands of little children?
Did you hold a mouth organ, the mane
of a rocking horse, did you cling to your mother’s
skirt in the dark ….
You strangling hands,
was your mother dead,
your wife, your child?
So that only death was left for you to hold in your hands,
in your strangling hands?

Hände
Der Todesgärtner,
Die ihr aus der Wiegenkamille Tod,
Die auf den harten Triften gedeiht
Oder am Abhang,
Das Treibhausungeheuer eures Gewerbes gezüchtet habt.
Hände,
Was tatet ihr,
Als ihr die Hände von kleinen Kindern waret?
Hieltet ihr eine Mundharmonika, die Mähne
Eines Schaukelpferdes, faßtet der Mutter Rock im Dunkel…
Ihr würgenden Hände,
War eure Mutter tot,
Eure Frau, euer Kind?
Daß ihr nur noch den Tod in den Händen hieltet,
In den würgenden Händen?

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One thought on “Hands

  1. This poem represents how these hands have power, over someone. In the poem it talks about how the hands are through the years. They talk about how the hands are holding death, how they are strangling someone or something. Its saying did you strangle your mother, wife, maybe even your child. In then it ends with all that is left in your hands is the person’s life you have taken. Camomile meant earth apple in Greek and the word was chamaimelon, it also comes from the word chamai which means on the ground. A symbol for hand is strength, power, and protection, according to symbol dictionary. According to Cooper, Quintilian says, “The hands may almost be said to speak. Do we not use them to demand, promise, summon, dismiss, threaten, supplicate, express aversion or fear, question or deny?”

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