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.
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.
Bertolt Brecht's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (A Worker Reads History by Bertolt Brecht )
- Sinners الاثمون, MOHAMMAD SKATI
- Touch-me-not, Naveed Khalid
- The Sword and the Plowshare, John F. McCullagh
- On the road a Recovery Poem, jeff newnham
- Sinners, MOHAMMAD SKATI
- An Image Of An Old House, Yohan Confectioner
- Autumn Equinox, Jacqueline Nash
- Portrait, Md. Mujib Ullah
- Childhood Never Returns, Md. Mujib Ullah
- I Am A Happy Old Man, Shalom Freedman
Poem of the Day
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
Walter de la Mare
(1873 - 1958)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
- Heather Burns
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)