DECEMBER: THE POEM “CITY CHRISTMAS” BY KURT TUCHOLSKY
On 25 December, issue 52 of Die Schaubühne published the poem ‘City Christmas’, by Kurt Tucholsky, alias Theobald Tiger. It portrays Christmas as a bourgeois drama in which people no longer have feelings, only roles.
The Christ Child comes! We young ones listen
To quiet, holy gramophone.
The Christ Child comes, prepared to swap
New ties, dolls and lexicon.
And if the bourgeois sits with family
In his chair, at half past nine,
At peace with life and with the world
‘Yes, Christmas certainly is fine!’
And cheerily he speaks of ‘Christmas weather’,
Rain today, or snow perhaps.
Smoking as he reads his paper,
Tales of famous girls and chaps.
So does the Christ Child’s flight encounter
Purest bliss down here below?
Good God, they’re playing Christmas peace out …
‘We’re all acting. The clever ones are those who know.’
London: Profile Books Limited. 256f.