Saturday, October 17, 2009
The Good Woman of Setzuan
By: Bertolt Brecht
In 1991 Nico and I had an in-depth discussion about Bertolt Brecht. As I was passionately expressing my love and admiration for Brecht, he smiled and with a German accent sarcastically said:
"A biographical book has recently published in Germany about your beloved Brecht!! which would give you a different perspective of him on women"
I stared at him, as a sign of uncertainty...
- Yes, I know, I know...nothing is absolute!
And, suddenly Pablo Picasso came to my mind....and his life with women!
Read an excerpt of Brecht's play: The Good Woman of Setzuan
Shen Te: Shen Te, yes. Shui Ta and Shen Te. Both.
To be good and yet to live
Was a thunderbolt
It has torn me in two
I can’t tell how it was
But to be good to others
And myself at the same time
I could not do it
Your world is not an easy one, illustrious ones!
When we extend our hand to a beggar, he tears it off for us
When we help the lost, we are lost ourselves
Since not to eat is to die
Who can long to refuse to be bad?
As I lay prostrate beneath the weight of good intentions
Ruin stared me in the face
It was when I was unjust that I ate good meat
And hobnobbed with the mighty
Why are bad deeds rewarded?
Good ones punished?
I developed a sharp eye
The time came when pity was a thorn in my side
And, later, when kind words turned to ashes in my mouth
And anger took over
I became a wolf
All that I have done I did
To help my neighbor
To love my lover
And to keep my little one from want
For your great, godly deeds, I was too poor, too small.