The Shearsman Review

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Mark Byers

Volker Braun's Selected Poems reviewed

Reviewing Time for Dreams: Poetry from the German Democratic Republic (1978), an ‘officially sponsored’ anthology of poems for English-speaking readers in East Germany, Michael Hamburger singled out Volker Braun’s ‘Government Decree’ as one of the few poems to allude directly to all that was rotten in the GDR. A comradely pitch for greater participation in GDR decision-making, Braun laid bare the decidedly unrepresentative machinery of governance in the communist state. Elsewhere in the anthology, Hamburger lamented, one was left to ‘read between the lines’. 

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Date: 17 May 2015

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