Blackbirds in September: Selected Shorter Poems
by Jürgen Becker
translated from the German by Okla Elliot
(Black Lawrence Press)
This carefully curated selection of Jürgen Becker’s poetry explores how extensively and how subtly the Second World War has pervaded European consciousness throughout the 20th and now into the 21st century. Becker’s precarious balance between personal memory and conviction, on the one hand, and a commitment to historical frankness on the other gives all of his work a multi-dimensionality in which all dimensions are constantly shifting, offering new perspectives on each other. Throughout, Becker is committed to the concrete, to the undeniably material, and his ability to let that materiality speak for itself gives his work an incomparable clarity and presence. Okla Elliott’s captures all that clarity, all that presence, bringing it into an English idiom with tremendous immediacy and force.