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

Form:


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

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 :

  • Rookie 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 »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. If, Rudyard Kipling
  4. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  5. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  6. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  7. A Red, Red Rose, Robert Burns
  8. My Love Is Like To Ice, Edmund Spenser
  9. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  10. 'Hope' is the thing with feathers, Emily Dickinson

Poem of the Day

poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Your hands lie open in the long fresh grass, --
The finger-points look through like rosy blooms:
Your eyes smile peace. The pasture gleams and glooms
...... Read complete »

   

New Poems

  1. Brothers, Raymond A. Foss
  2. Politician, Asit Kumar Sanyal
  3. My Brother, Raymond A. Foss
  4. If We Ever Meet Again....., Lichu Thomas
  5. Because I Care, Shahid Hussain Chouhdry
  6. o! she's gone away, Hrishikesh Bharadwaj
  7. Bombs, Stratis Havarti
  8. Harmony, Asit Kumar Sanyal
  9. Adnate to the Funicle, Robert Ronnow
  10. Lime-trees, Dr John Celes
[Hata Bildir]