Brecht’s Poem from The Lives of Others


On a certain day in the blue-moon month of September

Beneath a young plum tree, quietly

I held her there, my quiet, pale beloved

In my arms just like a graceful dream.

And over us in the beautiful summer sky

There was a cloud on which my gaze rested

It was very white and so immensely high

And when I looked up, it had disappeared.


Since that day many, many months

Have quietly floated down and past.

No doubt the plum trees were chopped down

And you ask me: what’s happened to my love?

So I answer you: I can’t remember.

And still, of course, I know what you mean

But I honestly can’t recollect her face

I just know: there was a time I kissed it.


And that kiss too I would have long forgotten

Had not the cloud been present there

That I still know and always will remember

It was so white and came from on high.

Perhaps those plum trees still bloom

And that woman now may have had her seventh child

But that cloud blossomed just a few minutes

And when I looked up, it had disappeared in the wind.

-Bertolt Brecht, “Remembrances of Marie A.,“ in Die Hauspostille (1927)

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