Lustful Things – Geile Sachen!, Folge 16: Hellmuth Opitz, »Madame Rowenta«

German Poetry Now: A bilingual online-anthology, featured by DAS GEDICHT chapbook


Hellmuth Opitz

Madame Rowenta

In that case anybody could show up with his wrinkles!
She’s always fuming, you can hear her roar,
unlike the law she doesn’t treat everybody equal:
Madame Rowenta is the concierge of ironing boards.

She’s hard as iron and takes nothing but white collars.
Light blue? Well, that’s okay that’s somewhat posh
The rest is junk. Is cheap. Is Bangladesh. She hollers.
But one might just as well call it Racism, o gosh!

And yet she also has her charms. You’d be impressed:
whenever she gently glides and buttons down and wristbands
across Dior, van Laack, Versace, and Demarquest.
She only loathes one brand more than an ovarian cyst.

Why are you, she will hiss, subverting my wardrobe with
that many foreign influences? They’re taking our work.
Who is she talking about, you wonder? Who’s less than filth
to her? Oh, yes, of course: it’s every non-iron, drip-dry shirt!

translated by Paul-Henri Campbell

+ German Original / Das Original


+ About the author / Zum Autor


Lustful Things - Geile Sachen!»Lustful Things – Geile Sachen!« im Archiv

»Lustful Things – Geile Sachen!« is an online collection of contemporary German-language poetry in English translation. All poems were taken from issue no. 22 of the German poetry magazine DAS GEDICHT, focused on the Poetry of Things. New English translations by Paul-Henri Campbell as well as the German originals are published here every Wednesday. All poems of this online-collection will also be published in a special print-edition. In order to read previous poems in this series, click here.

»Lustful Things – Geile Sachen!« ist eine Online-Sammlung zeitgenössischer deutschsprachiger Dinggedichte in englischer Übersetzung. Alle Texte sind Band 22 der Zeitschrift DAS GEDICHT entnommen. Jeden Mittwoch erscheint ein neues Gedicht, das von Paul-Henri Campbell ins Englische übertragen wurde, zusammen mit dem deutschen Original. Die Beiträge dieser Online-Anthologie gibt es auch als Sonderausgabe in Buchform. Alle bereits erschienenen Folgen von »Lustful Things – Geile Sachen!« finden Sie hier.

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