Теодор Рётке. Расплата

Исчезла прибыль вся: доход

Нехитрый в тайне сбережём;

От мрачных цифр скривило рот –

Они опять загадят дом.


Хотим найти причины бед:

Прибавить, вычесть, пешкой стать;

Блокнот исчёркан – там лишь бред,

Ошибок нам не отыскать.


Мы ищем тот простой тариф,

Что защищает, сняв вину.

А наш дефект – подводный риф, –

мы у грошей своих в плену.


Theodore Roethke. The Reckoning *

All profits disappear: the gain
Of ease, the hoarded, secret sum;
And now grim digits of old pain
Return to litter up our home.

We hunt the cause of ruin, add,
Subtract, and put ourselves in pawn;
For all our scratching on the pad,
We cannot trace the error down.

What we are seeking is a fare
One way, a chance to be secure:
The lack that keeps us what we are,
The penny that usurps the poor.


* The Historical Approach is when the writer is leading a life in a certain time in history and that events in his personal life and in the world affect the literature produced. In this poem, Theodore is affected not only by his own depression, but also the Great Depression. Roethke was 21 years old when the stock market crashed. He was forced to leave Harvard University as a result of the tough economic times.

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