Inventory


This is my cap,
this is my overcoat,
here is my shaving kit
in its linen pouch.

Some field rations:
my dish, my tumbler,
here in the tin-plate
I've scratched my name.

Scratched it here with this
precious nail
I keep concealed
from coveting eyes.

In the bread bag I have
a pair of wool socks
and a few things that I
discuss with no one,

and these form a pillow
for my head at night.
Some cardboard lies
between me and the ground.

The pencil's the thing
I love the most:
By day it writes verses
I make up at night.

This is my notebook,
this my rain gear,
this is my towel,
this is my twine.


     German, trans. Joshua Mehigan


Gunter Eich, German, trans. Joshua Mehigan, Poetry, The Poetry Foundation, April, 2009.