Das quiekende Ei


Das quiekende Ei - (2009)    

Paul Scheerbart

for high voice and piano


Und wärmer wird's im Frühlingswald.
Die alte Sonne scheint nicht kalt,
Sie scheint wie tausend Öfen.
Im Wasser lag das weiße Ei.
Es quiekte auf dem Schreibtisch
Eine schöne Dichterei.

[ 2 pages, circa 1' 30" ]

Paul Scheerbart


The Squawking Egg


And warmer 'tis in springtime woods.
The old sun shines less cold,
It shines like a thousand fires.
In water lies a white egg.
It squawks on the writing desk,
A lovely poet's "egginess."






The sly humor of combing poetic imagery to begin with and the notion of that "squawking egg" as metaphor for the poet's idea -- one of the possible meanings -- with a more mundane image, the hungry poet boiling a single egg on his desk is proof positive that poetry produces images which prose is unable to touch. Which egg shall be believe, given that no egg squawks and the sun's touch upon earth never approaches a thousand ovens? For that we might refer to Scheerbart's Was Ist Ein Original? But in doing so, might I be egging you on?


The massing of polytonal colors arranged by whole tone scale relationships conveys a complexity to the seemingly simple scene which the poet paints. The song form is essentially a single verse, which begins again only to be truncated with an interrupted thought which is the first line of the poem leading to....



The score is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this piano-vocal score.


Das queikende Ei