Gertrud Kolmar

Gertrud Kolmar’s Followers (10)

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Gertrud Kolmar


Born
in Berlin, Germany
December 10, 1894

Died
March 01, 1943

Genre


Gertrud Käthe Chodziesner, known by the literary pseudonym Gertrud Kolmar, was a German lyric poet and writer. She was born in Berlin and died, after her arrest and deportation as a Jew, in Auschwitz, a victim of the Nazi Final Solution. Though she was a cousin of Walter Benjamin, little is known of her life. She is considered one of the finest poets in the German language.

Post-war critics have accorded Kolmar a very high place in literature. Jacob Picard, in his epilogue to Gertrud Kolmar: Das Lyrische Werk described her both as 'one of the most important woman poets' in the whole of German literature, and 'the greatest lyrical poetess of Jewish descent who has ever lived'.

Michael Hamburger withheld judgement on the latter affirmation on
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Average rating: 3.96 · 90 ratings · 16 reviews · 20 distinct worksSimilar authors
Die jüdische Mutter

3.81 avg rating — 21 ratings6 editions
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Susanna

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3.74 avg rating — 19 ratings — published 1993 — 7 editions
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Mundos

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4.38 avg rating — 13 ratings — published 1947 — 3 editions
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Dark soliloquy: The selecte...

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4.20 avg rating — 10 ratings — published 1975
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Gedichte

3.86 avg rating — 7 ratings
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סוזנה / השביל שביער

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3.50 avg rating — 6 ratings
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Jewish Mother from Berlin a...

4.25 avg rating — 4 ratings — published 1997
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Das lyrische Werk

it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 2 ratings — published 2010
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Il canto del gallo nero

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it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 1 rating
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My Gaze Is Turned Inward: L...

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it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 1 rating — published 2002 — 2 editions
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More books by Gertrud Kolmar…
“out of darkness i come, a woman.
and on i go and on.”
Gertrud Kolmar
tags: poetry

“She filled herself entirely with the molten dark.”
Gertrud Kolmar

“The Woman Poet // Die Dichterin

You hold me now completely in your hands.

My heart beats like a frightened little bird's
Against your palm. Take heed! You do not think
A person lives within the page you thumb.
To you this book is paper, cloth, and ink,

Some binding thread and glue, and thus is dumb,
And cannot touch you (though the gaze be great
That seeks you from the printed marks inside),
And is an object with an object's fate.

And yet it has been veiled like a bride,
Adorned with gems, made ready to be loved,
Who asks you bashfully to change your mind,
To wake yourself, and feel, and to be moved.

But still she trembles, whispering to the wind:
"This shall not be." And smiles as if she knew.
Yet she must hope. A woman always tries,
Her very life is but a single "You . . ."

With her black flowers and her painted eyes,
With silver chains and silks of spangled blue.
She knew more beauty when a child and free,
But now forgets the better words she knew.

A man is so much cleverer than we,
Conversing with himself of truth and lie,
Of death and spring and iron-work and time.
But I say "you" and always "you and I."

This book is but a girl's dress in rhyme,
Which can be rich and red, or poor and pale,
Which may be wrinkled, but with gentle hands,
And only may be torn by loving nails.

So then, to tell my story, here I stand.
The dress's tint, though bleached in bitter lye,
Has not all washed away. It still is real.
I call then with a thin, ethereal cry.

You hear me speak. But do you hear me feel?”
Gertrud Kolmar