Mascha Kaléko: a new bilingual edition


This new and fully bilingual edition of the Poems of Mascha Kaléko, out in time for the 110th anniversary of her birth, is a good introduction in English to one of my favourite German poets, who deserves to be more widely known. Each chapter presents one stage of her life and publication – whether in Berlin where she grew up before Hitler came to power, or in exile in New York and Jerusalem. The editor and translator, Andreas Nolte, provides lots of useful background here. As he himself says, this new edition is also more visually appealing, with reprints of Kaléko’s covers and press cuttings.

Especially with the rhyme rendered in English, the poems sound startlingly, almost overly simple. I got to know and love many of them, like Alle sieben Jahre/Every seven years, in German, so reading them in English still feels odd. But there were several little gems here which were new to me, including many unpublished ones found in Kaléko’s apartment after her death. Here are just three. The first is a good indication of her absolute astuteness when it comes to observing relationships in all their stages:


The second might be sixty years old, but it’s perfect for the social media age:


And to round off, some self-reflection that resonates:


If you are new to Mascha Kaléko, this book is a good place to start. If you think you know her, there are some surprises for you in here too. If you are a huge fan like me, you can share it far and wide to introduce her to English-speaking readers. So get your copy now – with a discount if you buy it from the self-described post-capitalist publisher, Fomite Press. The above painting by German expressionist Gabriele Münter is on the cover.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in books, poetry, translation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

advent Alice in Wonderland American And Other Stories Antonia Lloyd-Jones Arabic Argentina Beowulf Berlin Best Translated Book Award Bible books Brazil Brazilian Portuguese British British Library Buddhism Catalan Children's Books China Chinese Christmas Christmas Carols Contemporary Czesław Miłosz Danish Dari David Hackston Dublin Literary Award English Estonian Fantasy Farsi Fiction Finland Finland 100 Finlandia Prize Finnish Flemish Free Word Centre French George Szirtes German Greek Hebrew Herbert Lomas Herta Müller history Hungarian Iceland Idioms Illustration India international International Translation Day Irish Gaelic Italian J. R. R. Tolkien Japanese Jenny Erpenbeck Johanna Sinisalo Korean Language language learning Languages Latin Literature Lola Rogers Lord of the Rings Mabinogion Man Booker International Prize Maori Maria Turtschaninoff Moomins New Year Nobel Prize Nobel Prize for Literature Norwegian Old English Olga Tokarczuk Owen Witesman Oxford English Dictionary Penguin PEN Translation Prize Persian Philip Boehm Phoneme Media Poetry Poetry Translation Centre Polish Portuguese Pushkin Press Queer Romanian Rosa Liksom Russian Salla Simukka Second World War Short Stories Sofi Oksanen Spanish Stanisław Barańczak Suomi100 Susan Bernofsky Svetlana Alexievich Swedish Switzerland Thomas Teal Tibetan Tove Jansson transation Translation translator Translators Without Borders Valentine's Day Wales Warsaw Welsh Wisława Szymborska Witold Szabłowski Women in Translation Month words Words without Borders writing YA

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow found in translation on
%d bloggers like this: