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Bertolt Brecht (1898–1956)

A Worker's Speech To A Doctor

When we come to you
Our rags are torn off us
And you listen all over our naked body.
As to the cause of our illness
One glance at our rags would
Tell you more. It is the same cause that wears out
Our bodies and our clothes.

The pain in our shoulder comes
You say, from the damp; and this is also the reason
For the stain on the wall of our flat.
So tell us:
Where does the damp come from?

The German poet and playright Bertolt Brecht was one of the most prominent artists of his day. In the 1930s his books, plays and performances were banned in Germany, and consequently he fled to Denmark and then Finland. He later lived in Russia and California, before returning to Germany in 1948. His many works have been translated into at least 42 languages.

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