Ernst Toller was a left-wing German playwright, best known for his Expressionist plays and serving as President of the short-lived Bavarian Soviet Republic, for six days.
Ernst Toller was born in Samotschin, Poland, on 1st December 1893. His father was a successful Jewish wholesale merchant. He was schooled in Bromberg where depsite describing it as a "school of miseducation and militarization", he was able to begin his literary career with the publication of a number of articles in the local newspaper and then poetry.
In 1914 Toller moved to France in order to study law at the University of Grenoble. However, within six months the onset ... more »
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Ernst Toller Poems
In spring I go to war To sing or to die. What do I care for my own troubles? Today I shatter them, laughing in pieces.
Corpses In The Woods
A dung heap of rotting corpses: Glazed eyes, bloodshot, Brains split, guts spewed out The air poisoned by the stink of corpses
Cities are so far away, humans live there. The knot chokes at your throat, a gray horror caresses your limbs. Who will freedom behold? When, at last, will the grubs rise up?
To the Trench
Through shell-holes, puddles of mud, they trudge.
The people's conscience squats on a worm-eaten pole. Around the pole dance the bones of three children.
Factory Smokestacks At Dawn
They chisel their force into the dawning sky. They forge their steeled selves on the precipice. They split through the fog like axes so that each breath shatters around them.
Starry sky. To restrain the beast my rifle glows, to fix the black barrel
Through the grill of my cell I see children playing. Pinned there, shrinking there, prison-years… torture-years…
In early evening the cell flares up. Thin shadows slide down the gray walls. He who cries out in mutiny exhausts into a dream. The brown stillness sweeps over like a gentle wave.
For the Dead of the Revolution
Death-prone, the bodies forked in mutiny against the collar of the uncooked plague,
The walls shriek with the eyes of mangled pigeons, the weasel's glittering teeth, the aimless thrashing of the terrified. The heart clings to the prisoner's hand.
Comments about Ernst Toller
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
In spring I go to war
To sing or to die.
What do I care for my own troubles?
Today I shatter them, laughing in pieces.
Oh, Brothers, know that young spring came
In a whirlwind.
Quickly throw off tired grief
And follow her in a host.
I have never felt so strongly
How much I love you, Oh, Germany,
As the magic of spring surrounds you
Amidst the bustle of war.