Lyricism: Was Es Ist

A few years ago I attended the wedding of my cousin in Berlin. It was a momentous and unique celebration in many ways. It was the coming together of two cultures, that of my cousin, hailing from West Africa and that of his partner being German. There was the added novelty of them being a same-sex couple.

At the reception, time came when the father of the German groom got up to speak his part. From what I had been told of him he was a quiet thoughtful man, one of few words who had never expressed much of an opinion either way of his son’s sexual orientation or his ultimate decision to marry. Those in the room who knew him waited with baited breath as to what he would say and the rest of us who did not know him felt the sombreness of the room and also held breath.

He stood up. In his native tongue he began with a quiet unwavering voice, “All I have to say are in these few words by Erich Fried, If you would allow me…”

What is it

It is madness

says reason

It is what it is

says love

It is unhappiness

says caution

It is nothing but pain

says fear

It has no future

says insight

It is what it is

says love

It is ridiculous

says pride

It is foolish

says caution

It is impossible

says experience

It is what it is

says love.

I have never been so touched in my life with the potency and gravity of but a few words. Was Es Ist became my favourite poem henceforth.

 

Author: Qind

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