by Günter Eich

This is my cap,
this is my coat,
here is my shaving set
in a linen bag.

A tin can:
my plate, my cup,
in the metal
I have scratched my name.

Scratched it with this
precious nail,
which I hide
from greedy eyes.

In my haversack are
a pair of woolen socks
and some things I don’t
tell anyone about,

it serves as a pillow
at night for my head.
The cardboard lies here
between me and the earth.

The pencil lead
I love the most:
by day it writes verses for me
that I have thought up by night.

This is my notebook,
this is my canvas,
this is my towel,
this is my thread.

From The Faber Book of 20th-Century German Poems, edited by Michael Hofmann.

Source: Inventory (II) – Mapping the Marvellous

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