Bertolt Brecht

(10 February 1898 – 14 August 1956 / Augsburg)

A Worker Reads History


Who built the seven gates of Thebes?
The books are filled with names of kings.
Was it the kings who hauled the craggy blocks of stone?
And Babylon, so many times destroyed.
Who built the city up each time? In which of Lima's houses,
That city glittering with gold, lived those who built it?
In the evening when the Chinese wall was finished
Where did the masons go? Imperial Rome
Is full of arcs of triumph. Who reared them up? Over whom
Did the Caesars triumph? Byzantium lives in song.
Were all her dwellings palaces? And even in Atlantis of the legend
The night the seas rushed in,
The drowning men still bellowed for their slaves.

Young Alexander conquered India.
He alone?
Caesar beat the Gauls.
Was there not even a cook in his army?
Phillip of Spain wept as his fleet
was sunk and destroyed. Were there no other tears?
Frederick the Greek triumphed in the Seven Years War.
Who triumphed with him?

Each page a victory
At whose expense the victory ball?
Every ten years a great man,
Who paid the piper?

So many particulars.
So many questions.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (A Worker Reads History by Bertolt Brecht )

Enter the verification code :

  • Matthew Krautheim (4/18/2010 5:22:00 PM)

    Hey folks you got a word wrong in the poem worker reads history it's Fredrick the GREAT NOT Fred the GREEK (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

New Poems

  1. Hurricane, Ahmed Tawfik
  2. Mirrors, Arno Le Roux
  3. The words we leave unsaid, Chris Zachariou
  4. Called To The Place Of Dry, Arno Le Roux
  5. Futurism Today, Peter Jay Shippy
  6. Soul, Peter Jay Shippy
  7. Shadow of Death, Tosin Abegunde
  8. Graceful ghost rag, Peter Jay Shippy
  9. The State-Progress Of Ill, Lord Edward Herbert of Cherb ..
  10. On the perilous effects of buried alien .., Peter Jay Shippy

Poem of the Day

poet Robert William Service

Just Home and Love! the words are small
Four little letters unto each;
And yet you will not find in all
The wide and gracious range of speech
Two more so tenderly complete:
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Paul Muldoon

 

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. If, Rudyard Kipling
  3. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  4. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  5. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  6. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  7. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  8. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  9. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  10. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]