The Lighting – Bertholt Brecht

The Lighting

Give us light on our stage
How can we disclose
We playwrights and actors
Images to the world in semi-darkness ?
The sleepy twilight sends to sleep.
Yet we need our watchers wide awake.
Indeed we need them vigilant.
Let them dream in brightness.
The little bit
Of night that’s wanted now and then
Our lamps and moons can indicate.
And we with our acting too can keep
The times of day apart.
The Elizabethan wrote us
Verses on a heath at evening
Which no lights will ever reach
Nor even the heath itself embrace.
Therefore flood full on
What we have made with work
That the watcher may see
The indignant peasant
Sit down upon the soil of Tavastland
As though it were her own.

B Brecht

From Brecht’s ‘Poems on the Theatre’ (Gedichte aus dem Messingkauf)

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