Herta Müller and Collage Poetry
Knees drawn to his chest, Pomi sat huddled on the window sill. As I came closer I heard tiny sobs.
” Go away.” He sniveled.
” What is going on? Why are you upset?”
” You went out last night and did not take me with you.”
” I went to a reading by Herta Müller. I did not think you’d want to go.”
” You could have asked me.”
” The reading was in German, and you don’t speak German, so I presumed you wouldn’t be interested.”
” Oh, you presumed? You know what? You presumed wrong. I do not speak German. But that is no reason to leave someone behind. I could have learned from Herta Müller. ” Pomi still sniffled.
” Ok darling, I am sorry. I will not leave you at home again. As far as learning from Herta Müller is concerned, she is a famous novelist and poet and was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 2009. She must be a very busy woman. Do you really think she teaches German? And if she did, why should she teach you?’
” Why not? Pomi gave me a reproachful look. ” How was the reading?”
” It was very interesting. I am glad I went. I was sure I would not make it because the plane was so behind schedule.”
” Yes but in the end we arrived on time and you ran to that reading, forgetting all about me.” Pomi was sobbing again.
” Please stop crying my little darling. I will take you with me next time and look here, I bought Herta Müller’s most recent book: Vater telefoniert mit den Fliegen.”
” Let me see.” Pomi demanded and I put the book on the table. Pomi looked it over and started to leaf through the pages.
” Words cut from newspapers?”
” Collage poetry?”
” It means cutting words and letters from newspapers and magazines and combining them into poems and literary texts. Fascinating.”
Pomi studied the book for a long time.
” I can do that? ” he decided.
” You can? ”
” Of course I can. Give me a newspaper, an English newspaper and a pair of scissors.”
Luckily I had kept the paper I had read on the plane and gave it to Pomi.
He started to cut out words. For the rest of the day he was busy cutting and I did not hear a single word from him.
When he decided that there were enough words he started to dig through the clippings and puzzled them together.
” Done!” He finally called out.
“There it is. My puzzle poem.”
” Collage poem, ” I corrected.
” My first collage poem, ” a pleased Pomi said and he was beaming with pride.