DThe poems by Lessie Sachs should be read at night when, exhausted from the day, you have just reached the point at which self-doubt begins its grueling work. Then the poems unfold something delicious, which the Americans call “companionship” – a quiet get-together, in which you can risk closing yourself off from the public, not finding yourself great (“Oh, you’re just a dwarf”), in which you can admit that you are dissatisfied (“I absolutely dislike myself”) and, yes, lonely (“I have no love at the moment”) and annoyed by people who hollow out my soul: “My veins roll like liquid lead, / I must confess: I feel depressed; / You talk to a lot of people, one thing, / The fun of it is mostly just fake. “
If you can admit that, the poems offer a dialogue that can end with the lines: “Leave the annoying things, / See, it is now deep night / Today nothing is thought anymore / Today there is nothing more to be done. /. , , Whatever you set out to do, you can do it tomorrow. / But now try to rest; / Be very quiet. , , the dreams come. “So one gets drawn into the thoughts of Lessie Sachs and discovers a young woman who watches relentlessly and tries to cope with disappointments and sensitivities by turning her like a three-day-old fish marinated in funny language, turns and breaded to finally present the whole affliction to us as a funny crispy bed candy.
From the academy to prison
The fact that the lightness of this language is hard bought and the poems dance across deep abysses only opens up the life story of the author, which Christiana Puschak and Jürgen Krämer present in a detailed afterword that accompanies their new edition of Lessie Sachs’ poetry and short prose. The author was born in Wroclaw in 1896 as Valeska Luise “Lessie” Sachs. Her father was a respected psychiatrist and neurologist, the mother a housewife. When the First World War broke out, Lessie Sachs studied at the Academy of Arts and Crafts in Wroclaw, but probably moved to Munich in the autumn of 1917.
In Schwabing she found a bubbling world, earned money as a portrait artist, was seized by revolutionary enthusiasm, joined the KPD in February 1919 and became the third secretary of its Schwabing section. She was arrested two months later and sentenced to eighteen months in prison. In September 1920 she began to be held in the Breslau XII prison. Six months later, she was released for good leadership.
“The restless longing for books”
One of her most haunted prose texts is a previously unpublished reflection on her imprisonment: “Day and night passed in an even sequence, the silence was impenetrable. , , I heard keys clink, a step in the hallway, I heard sneaking, whispering, cracking. , ., otherwise I saw and heard nothing. The time passed. , ., I felt how life passed me. , , Soul and senses were the dim mirror of an even murky flood of hours that dragged itself lazily. , , dangerously close to death. , , We got the uncontrollable, unbearable, wild, deeply yearning desire for books seeping through the walls, whispering around the corners. , ., crept around the cells. , , The restless longing for books grew and distorted grimace and unrestrained desire, shadowed the ghosts, penetrated underground, glowing and agile through the walls, feverishly restless, restless up and down. , , up, down. The panic of the soul destroyed the discipline. “