de . en
The
Fellows'
Network
 
Milch (Milk)
September 2004
Literature
German
70 pages
15 EUR
978-3-929085-93-8

Poetry, Book with CD. Hardcover. With the friendly support of the Klett-Stiftung.

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White winter night. Swans and frozen lakes. Snowflakes and frost patterns. White rustling. Even if the words may evoke associations to weightlessness, light, and lightness, these are not images of an idyll. Behind this celestial level, one senses an abyss, an additional area of meaning, in which a huge emptiness and deep loneliness reign. Inhabited only by an “I” in search of a counterpart. It knows the “you”, but it has long not encountered the “we”. It is stories of abandonment and being abandoned. Some of them tell of a childhood when even then the mother’s breast didn’t warm, her milk did not nourish.

The breath of her language is cool, the form of her poems clear and mostly rhymeless. She artistically weaves Eichendorff and Heine, but she asks her most important question with Hölderin’s Hälfte des Lebens (Half of Life). “Weh mir, wo nehm' ich, wenn / Es Winter ist, die Blumen (...)” “Woe is me, where do I go when / It is winter, the flowers (…)”

Despite the melancholy and seriousness, Haustein created powerful lyric poetry, driven by an unstilled hunger and huge thirst for life. Her last poems and prose pieces were collected in Milch and made audible on CD. Author Claudia Klischat and theater director Christoph Gosepath read Haustein’s texts, supported by the composer Héctor Moro, an original recording of Gagarin’s Weltraumflug and the singing voice of Julie Randall Osborn: A melancholy and self-ironic celebration that falls between loss of identity and affirmation of the self.

Beatrix Haustein, born in 1974 in Karl-Marx-Stadt (Chemnitz), died in Stuttgart in 2002. Her first volume of poetry Purpurrot (Purplered) (1994) was a great success, but after numerous interview offers, she withdrew her book from the market and retreated from the public eye. In 1998, she completed her artistic studies at the German Literature Institute Leipzig, published the bibliophile poetry collection Engel in Öl (Angel in Oil) (1998) and then worked as a freelance author. Besides poetry and prose, Beatrix Haustein created monologues and several-voiced dialogues to music, and lyrics.

“(...)

the child cries.

The mother takes the child into her arms. “don’t cry, my baby, I would never let anyone hurt you.” Snow storms around their ears. The mother gives the child her breast. White rustling.

The child looks.

The child looks into the Milky Way. (...)”

(From: “It cannot be anything but winter.” Dialogue for two voices, by Beatrix Haustein)