Posts filed under ‘Ernst Jandl’

Ottos Mops

Ernst Jandl

Listen (to Jandl read)

ottos mops trotzt
otto: fort mops fort
ottos mops hopst fort
otto: soso

otto holt koks
otto holt obst
otto horcht
otto: mops mops
otto hofft

ottos mops klopft
otto: komm mops komm
ottos mops kommt
ottos mops kotzt
otto: ogottogott

© Luchterhand

In the mood for some deutsch fun?

This is one poem that begs to be listened to. I am posting this poem without a translation, as the few translations that claim to capture the spirit of the poem came nowhere close to giving you a sense of the wordplay involved.

Jandl was heavily influenced by the Dada Movement, where art is anti-art and poetry is actually anti-poetry. He was among the early practitioners of concrete poetry. And his poetry are filled with clever tricks.

For instance, Ottos Mops ( meaning Otto’s Pug), that is among his most popular works, uses just one vowel ‘o’. This poem is often used in german language classes to teach the different qualities of the sound of the letter ‘o’. Play this to anyone who speaks german and watch them burst out laughing. :)

Another poem, schtzngrmm, is a play on the word “Schützengraben” ( a kind of WWI trench), is just a sequence of sounds that represent gunfire.


April 5, 2007 at 8:18 pm Leave a comment