The Playwright

Of Poor B.B. by Bertolt Brecht
I, Bertolt Brecht, come from the black forests.My mother carried me into the citiesWhen I was in her belly. And the chill of the forestsWill be in me till my dying day.
The asphalt city is my home. FurnishedFrom the outset with every sacramental perquisite:With newspapers. And tobacco. And brandy.Distrustful and idle and contented to the end.
I am friendly to people. I put onA top hat because that's what they do.I tell myself: They are animals with a particular smell.And I tell myself: What of it, so am I.
In the morning I like to set a woman or twoIn my empty rocking chairsAnd I look at them insouciantly and I say to them:In me you have someone on whom there is no relying.
Towards evening it's men I gather round about meAnd we address our company as "gentlemen."They park their feet on my tableAnd say: Things are looking up. And I don't ask: When?
In the grey pre-dawn the pine trees micturateAnd their parasites, the birds, start to bawl.At that hour I empty my glass in the city and throw awayMy cigar end and worriedly go to sleep.
We have settled, a whimsical tribe,In dwellings it pleased us to think of as indestructible(In the same spirit we built the tall constructions on theisland of ManhattanAnd the thin antennae that underwire the Atlantic Ocean).
Of these cities there will remain only what passed through them,the wind.The house makes glad the eater: he polishes it off.We know we are provisional,And that after us will come: really nothing worth mentioning.
In the coming earthquakes I trustI will not let my Virginia go bitter on me,I, Bertolt Brecht, removed to the asphalt citiesFrom the black forests in my mother in the early times.

A timeline of Brecht's Plays

1922       Brecht's first full length play, Baal is published
1923       Premiere of Baal at the Altes Theatre, Leipzig o 8 December
1926       Premiere of Man is Man at Landetheater, Darmstadt
1928       Brecht's short story, The Beast wins first prize in the Berlin Illustierte competition in
1932       Premiere of The Mother on 17 January which toured to working class districts of Berlin
1939       Brecht completes Mother Courage and Her Children in June
1942       Brecht works on script for Hangmen Also Die, which is filmed between November and December
1948       Brecht's adaptation of Antigone premieres on 15 February
1949       The Berliner Ensemble is created in January
Mother Courage and Her Children opens in the Deutsches Theater, Berlin
1954       Brecht is awarded the Lenin Peace Prize on 21 December
1956       On 10 August, Brecht attends his last rehearsal
Brecht dies on 14 August 1956

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