Poetry Magazine November 2009I’ve been enjoying the new issue of Poetry magazine, which has a walking theme. It has some translations of the German poet Gottfried Benn by Michael Hofmann, who suggests in his accompanying note that you could imagine Benn as ‘a Larkin less veiled, discreet, conciliatory, half-optimistic, teetering, and somehow more lovable…’. He says that Benn’s poem ‘What’s Bad’ is ‘almost safe to be called a well-known poem’, but it wasn’t known to me, I must admit. And I really like it!

Here’s a taster:

Very bad: being invited out,
when your own room at home is quieter,
the coffee is better,
and you don’t have to make small talk.

~ Robyn