Herbert Nehrlich

Rookie (04 October 1943 / Germany)

The Berlin Wall - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich

It was the day after,
John Kennedy had
uncharacteristically loud,
shouted the unforgettable
and oft misquoted words
'Ich bin ein Berliner',
words that echoed back
from the remnants of
a wall that had been built
with capitalist materials
and communist anger.

Gorbatschov sat
in the Sauna of his datscha,
partaking liberally of
near-frozen Vodka, pure,
while sweating in the name
of the people and humanity.

The loudspeaker crackled to life,
and the hiss of the water Aufguss
could not drown them out,
these historical doves, so rare.

Later, when the actor turned prez
threw down the gauntlet, loudly,
with the flushed cheeks of anger
and righteous indignation,
'Mr. Gorbatschov, tear down this wall',
the entire world applauded,
though some did not mean it at all.
But I do think that the wall was torn
down in its entirety, that day in the Sauna.


Comments about The Berlin Wall by Herbert Nehrlich

  • (8/14/2005 7:45:00 AM)


    Ah, Herbert, as a 'Wings of Desire' fan, and someone who was in art school in New York City in November,1989, and going down to the lobby for a break to chance upon the magical headlines and photos in the TIMES, I felt 'ich ben ein Berliner', too! I did a big painting of the scene. Not long after, a friend of mine who went to a different country every December to the 'International Santa Claus Conference', did charity work, and posed for a photo with hundreds of people all dressed as Santa, brought me back a small piece of the wall. It looked just like the wall all covered with bright orange graffiti in Wim Wender's film. On a plane flight a couple years ago, I happened to see a video of the Pink Floyd production of the rock opera, 'The Wall', AT the site of the wall, a few years later-hundreds of thousands in attendance. The Soul of humanity was exposed at that site! The wall was part of its skeleton, or something, and there was an outcropping of its Soul! Lately I've also seen 'Goodbye, Lenin'. And you bring it all back to a moment with Gorbechav in his sauna hearing Kennedy speak. Fascinating! (Report) Reply

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  • (8/14/2005 7:28:00 AM)


    Nicely put Herbert! ! (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, August 14, 2005



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