This collection has the works of fifty-four poets, but seems to work between the two points of Bertolt Brecht with 19 poems and Hans Magnus Enzensberger with 14 (including the 8 & a bit page poem, Foam) and although there are other books covering this ground for example, Michael Hamburger's and Christopher Middleton's Modern German Poetry from 1910-1960. As an introduction to a poetry that can hold it's head high on the world stage, this book will take some beating, No, It's not Bilingual, yes it would be probably improved if that was the case, but to most - myself included - that won't matter, what does matter is that this book will serve as a key to a door that can open up a whole world of poetry. Earlier this year I wrote a post on Faber's Book of 20Th Century Italian Poems and this will sit nicely alongside that one on my bookshelves.
Excellent series of poems. The poems are best read with some knowledge of the life histories of the individual poets. The sheer range of experiences, from WW1 & WW2 combatents, SS members (like Gunter Grass), persecuted Jewish Germans, East Germans kept under surveillance by the Stasi and German informants to the Securitate in Romania. All of human life is here and observed with candour. The poems are a panoramic view of German experience so fundamental to European history.
There are some great poems in here, but if you're buying this as a study aid or to practice your German, think again -- the entire book has been translated into English! The blurb notes that there are "many new translations" but the German originals are not available alongside the English. Not what I was expecting at all.