Chapter 38 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part I


Will a Passionate Poem make a Difference?

Picking up the pieces of a shattered dream is better than having no pieces to pick up at all.

Matshona Dhliwayo

Poetry to the Rescue!

For three long months Biene had to endure the assaults from her parents, twin brother, relatives and friends on our plans to carve out a niche for our future in Canada. No doubt, while the arguments were partly driven by selfishness and the fear of losing daughter, sister and friend, they were also motivated by love and concern for her happiness in a distant land. Biene, endowed by nature with a big heart and a keen sense of perception felt empathy especially for her mother’s despair. Thus, she made compromises, which deeply affected me and touched a very sensitive nerve.

While Biene was struggling with real people, who were bent on imposing their idea of happiness on her, I in faraway Canada had to fight a different battle. Having no one to talk to and argue with, I battled with phantoms breaking through the crevices of my beleaguered mind, where dream and reality once so intimately interwoven were drifting apart with each new letter from Germany.

Then I remembered that two years earlier I had written a novella entitled “Carthage” (yet to be translated into English). The book written for Biene was my desperate attempt to declare my love to her and to win back her heart after the engagement with her Dutch fiancé had fallen apart. So as a prelude to a very long letter I composed  a poem. It was written in the spirit of German classic literature and poetry that I was studying at the time and was definitely inspired by my worries about all the troublesome changes made to our plans. The poem was to remind Biene of our hopes and aspirations, which we had recorded less than a year earlier in our book of dreams.

In Part II of this chapter I will publish the original poem in German and for my English speaking blogging friends I will add a translation with no attempt to preserve rhyme or rhythm. My hope is that not too much of its emotional impact is lost in translation.

24 thoughts on “Chapter 38 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part I

    • As the story makes it so clear, there were great problems on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Looking back it was actually a great miracle that we managed to get together in Canada and got married in spite of all the opposition. Thank you for your kind words of appreciation!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Peter, jetzt kann ich aber nicht mehr lange warten auf was dann passierte. Ugh I am finding myself writing in German all of a sudden, it must be “Die Spannung” auf Fortsetzung. As always your post to read is the highlight of my Friday. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Du kannst ruhig deine Kommentare auf Deutsch schreiben, Cornelia. Wir sind ja beide mehrsprachig. Thank you for your interest in our story! Looking back it seems like a great miracle that under all these opposing forces we got together in Canada and got married in the land of our dreams.


  2. Having no one to talk to and argue with…this is hard to understand! Why was ist like this? Didn’t you have friends there to talk to?
    That’s what we can learn from women – usually they have friends to talk to.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, women generally do not only have friends to talk to, but in general find it easier to talk about the most personal problems. Thus, they have the means to unburden themselves. As I mentioned to Brigit, the problem lay within my own self-consciousness.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Good question, Brigit! I was too shy to bring these personal questions with my brothers ans sister. In that sense you must understand what I said: ‘I had no one to talk to and to argue with’.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wenn es wirklich niemanden gibt, dem man sich in der Not anvertrauen kann oder möchte, ist es sehr hilfreich, seine Gedanken in Versen oder Ähnlichem auszudrücken..und manchmal kommt etwas sehr Schönes dabei heraus!
    Noch nach Jahren wird man beim Lesen solcher Zeilen daran erinnert, wie man sich “damals” gefühlt und was einen besonders bewegt hat.
    Herzliche Grüße aus Sottmar!👋

    Liked by 1 person

    • Schon früh hatte ich gelernt, meine Gefühle in Versen zum Ausdruck zu bringen. Die poetische Ader ist bei vielen der Kegler Familie zu finden. Meine Mutter schrieb oft ihre Erlebenisse in Gedichten. So hat sie es auch mit ihren Kindheitserinnerungen gemacht. Bei Geburtstagsfeiern wurden sogar Miniopern geschrieben. Ja, du hast recht, das Gedicht an Biene adressiert war mich eine Art Befreiung meiner ängstlichen Gefühle um unsere Zukunft. Viele liebe Grüße auch von uns im fernen Kanada!


  4. I look forward to reading though poem, although in my case I’m afraid it will have to be the English version since I don’t speak German. I did once have a German friend try to teach me to say “I’m hungry,” but apparently it sounded more like I was saying “I have a chicken.” Oh well…

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.