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Literature and Ideas

Mad Mask

On my wall hangs
a Japanese mask that's
carved out of wood:
an evil demon,
laquered in gold.

I watch with compassion
its temple-veins bulge: they speak
of how much it hurts to be mean.
An meiner Wand hängt ein japanisches Holzwerk,
Maske eines bösen Dämons, bemalt mit Goldlack.
Mitfühlend sehe ich
Die geschwollenen Stirnadern, andeutend
Wie anstrengend es ist, böse zu sein.

Bertolt Brecht (1898–1956)

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