The front pages of the book include this poem, "The Sinking of the Jeannette" by Joachim Ringelnatz.
In the kingdom of ice, far from the world,
lamentations rise from the ship,
As she battles the slabs and the growling swirls,
and writhes in their throttling grip.
The crusted floes crack in fits and in sprees,
and in fury flog her planked hide,
Spent sailors fall upon supplicant knees,
yearning for kith and hearthside.
The hungry ice clutches more tightly,
to check the flight of its prey,
The captain's command rings forthrightly,
"All hands quit while ye may!"
See how the rough men pine and weep,
as she falters and slips,
High in the masts, the haunted winds whine,
a dirge to the truest of ships
That bore them so long, yet now in the murk,
the proud boat twists to her bed,
And when the day hath ended its work,
Northern Lights paint her grave purple-red.
Ringelnatz was the pen name for German writer, Hans Böttiche.
Here is a humorous poem written by Ringelnatz in German.
In Hamburg lebten zwei Ameisen
die wollten nach Australien reisen.
Bei Altona auf der Chaussee
Da taten ihnen die Beine weh.
Und da verzichteten sie weise
Dann auf den letzten Teil der Reise.
Translated as a limerick:
There once were two ants in Westphalia
Who wanted to go to Australia.
But cursing their feet
In a Belgian street
They gave up the trip as a failya.
This one reminds me of "The Ant Explorer," posted here.
Explore more Poetry Friday with Diane at Random Noodling.