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In Memory of a Banyan Tree: Poems of the Outside World: 1985 to 2022
Three Wooden Trunks
The Country Where Everyone’s Name Is Fear: Selected Poems
VOTIVES: Selected Poems from the Literary Remains  
  Kuno Raeber

ISBN 978-0-9981963-1-2      /  $25 (Canada)     5.5 x 8.5"       

114 pp      
PUB DATE: Sept 2017       Book Release Featured Poetry

Chosen from among Kuno Raeber’s extensive literary remains and arranged thematically, these poems plumb the depths of his spiritual and cultural heritage emanating from ancient worlds, by means of exact descriptions of everyday life that open up into imaginary landscapes. In an interview from 1964, Raeber said he was determined to show “the present in the past and the past in the present.”


STUART FRIEBERT holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He founded Oberlin’s Creative Writing Program, which he directed until retiring. He co-founded Field Magazine, later the Field Translation Series and Oberlin College Press. Among his fourteen books of poems, Funeral Pie co-won the Four Way Book Award in 1997; and Floating Heart (Pinyon Publishing) won the Ohioana 2015 Poetry Award. In addition, he’s published ten volumes of translations: Puppets in the Wind: Selected Poems of Karl Krolow  (Bitter Oleander Press, 2014) and Be Quiet: Selected and Selected Poems by Kuno Raeber  (Tiger Bark Press, 2015). He has also published a number of stories and memoir-pieces, collected in a volume entitled, The Language of the Enemy (Black Mountain Press, 2015).




CHRISTIANE WYRWA studied German and English Literature at Göttingen, Durham GB andBerlin where she took a PhD in 1981. With her husband Matthias Klein, she edited Kuno Raeber’s Collected Works in seven volumes from 2002 to 2010.


About the Author

Kuno Raeber

Born in 1922 in Klingau (Aargau), Kuno Raeber grew up in Lucerne, Switzerland, went on to study philosophy, literature, and history in Basel, Zurich, Geneva, and Paris, and received a PhD in history in 1950. Along the way, he studied for the priesthood, but lost his path after a “spiritual crisis.” In 1958, he settled in Munich as a freelance writer, where he spent most of his life, aside from trips abroad to Oberlin as Max Kade Writer-in-Residence and to the Swiss Institute in Rome. An early member of the Gruppe 47, he survived malicious attacks by the group at first, but prevailed with the support of a few sympathetic writers, and by the time he died in 1992, he had won a number of prestigious literary prizes and produced a commanding body of poems, stories, novels, plays, essays, reviews, and translations, which have recently been collected in a definitive seven-volume edition, edited by Christiane Wyrwa and Matthias Klein. Many critics now count him among the most significant writers of the second half of the twentieth century.


  "Es ist erstaunlich, wie produktiv verfremdet Raebers Gedichte wirken, wenn man sie in der Sprache des amerikanischen Modernismus liest—wie erfrischt, wie modern, wie amerikanisch! Außerdem sind Typographie und Ausstattung so diskret elegant, dass sie zum Vergnügen beitragen.”

"It is astonishing how productively estranging Raeber's poems are when one reads them in the language of American modernism—how refreshing, how modern, how American! Besides that the typography and design are discretely elegant, which contributes to one's pleasure.”

—Heinrich Detering



Sometimes we think of sounds
of the quieter moon at noon,
which doesn’t warm us in flames
yet lights up our nights.
Sometimes, even if we don’t wish it,
the poplar, erect and dark, stands
in the middle of our heart,
the moon resting on its top
from its lonely song
through the night abloom with stars.
Night often moves our soul,
as often we clamor along:
wasn’t it the womb of the word,
which created our worlds?
Didn’t it fall into it,
didn’t night bear music?
Alone the stillness of nights
nourished the growing sound.
And the darkness of the space
rocked the light into day.
But its mother passed away,
uncomplaining in the pain of birth.
Yet the poplar, it bears
the moon darkly on its top:
Stillness in the heart of the clamor
and of the glaring light of day
a night’s already growing anew.

—Kuno Raeber, 1946