A landmark literary event, The Collected Poems of Bertolt Brecht is the most extensive English translation of Brecht's poetry to date.
Widely celebrated as the greatest German playwright of the twentieth century, Bertolt Brecht was also, as George Steiner observed, "that very rare phenomenon, a great poet, for whom poetry is an almost everyday visitation and drawing of breath." Hugely prolific, Brecht also wrote more than two thousand poems―though fewer than half were published in his lifetime, and early translations were heavily censored. Now, award-winning translators David Constantine and Tom Kuhn have heroically translated more than 1,200 poems in the most comprehensive English collection of Brecht’s poetry to date. Written between 1913 and 1956, these poems celebrate Brecht’s unquenchable “love of life, the desire for better and more of it,” and reflect the technical virtuosity of an artist driven by bitter and violent politics, as well as by the untrammeled forces of love and erotic desire. A monumental achievement and a reclamation, The Collected Poems of Bertolt Brecht is a must-have for any lover of twentieth-century poetry.
“This immense collection of Brecht’s poems amounts to a running record of his many lives as a theorist, dramatist, polemicist, and now poet… The assembled throng gives the reader immediate access to the interior of Brecht’s restless, oceanic mind.”
- Billy Collins, former Poet Laureate of the United States
“Richly political, finally honed like a monster being restrained but gentle enough to tell the children a story.”
- Eileen Myles, author of I Must Be Living Twice: New and Selected Poems 1975-2014 and Inferno (a poet's novel)
“A remarkable feat in getting the erotic and political fervor and humor of Bertolt Brecht into a strong answering voice.”
- Harold Bloom, author of The Western Canon and The Anxiety of Influence