This untitled poem can be found in the first volume of poems by Mariella Mehr: in diesen traum schlendert ein roter findling [a red findling wanders into this dream]. Comprising sev-enty pages, it was originally published in Bern in 1983.
Mehr debuted as a lyricist soon after the huge success she enjoyed with her first novel, steinzeit, in 1981.
As Mariella Mehr pointed out on several occasions, poetry is the main focus of her literary work. The poems in this volume emerged over a longer period, as evidenced by the dates that appear below a number of the poems; many were composed in the late 1970s.
The poem presented here is undated and, like a lot of the works in this volume, has no title. It is also striking that lower-case is used consistently throughout; in her later volumes, she aban-doned this usage.
The author herself appears to attribute special importance to this poem, as it was selected for the back cover, thus appearing twice in this book.
In three stanzas, each of which is composed of three verses, a concise and extremely bold conclusion is drawn: A lyrical ‘I’ speaks of its own body, as if of an object that has been re-discovered.
This lyrical ‘I’ has been travelling for a long time, to a ‘mountain’, to a ‘black pain’ – located in the centre of the body. The red velvet on which the body was found conjures up divergent associations: here, velvet could stand for a feeling of security, but the colour red also suggests blood. Going one step further, this strong image might be – might well be, in fact – linked to an erotic experience.
Source of sample text
Mehr, Mariella. 1983. in diesen traum schlendert ein roter findling, Bern: Zytglogge, p. 22.