He looks at us, JOHANNES BOBROWSKI 1917-1965, his eyes both alert and inward-looking, his gaze steady, interrogative, questioning himself as well as the observer. 100 years have passed since his birth, and now, more than half a century after his death, the sculptor creates his image of the poet, out of letters and words, giving him a name and jotting down his short life, 1917-1965, a life between yesterday’s world and an unknown future, cast in ore, the writing conveying a feeling of lightness that is in stark contrast to his chosen material, the heaviness of which is reminiscent of the poet’s “darkness” – as if the sculptor intended to give the medal wings to counter the weight of soil and metal, to lighten the burden with wings of words and language.
Der Baum größer al – his face emerges from the text – s die Nacht – the observer becomes a reader, his attention turns to the writing, to the text, to the poem. How will it go on?... mit dem Atem – Bobrowski had beautiful handwriting, legible, for those familiar with the script, hardly anyone writes like that nowadays, they call it “Old German”, as if our fathers and grandfathers were centuries away. And yet, they are so near.
We are supposed to turn the medal, to look at this human being from different angles, which in turn gives the writing and his face even greater plasticity, as they emerge from their background – letters, verbal entity, carrier of words, a human. In motion, his eyes begin to sparkle, and so does the writing. The tree reappears on the back, but now it has company, there are four of them, bordering an avenue, extending it, until it seems almost endless, leading to the neighboring house. And with it, to traces of destruction, the flood, a sinking house, a menorah – who could escape?
We flip it again, cast another glance at the poet, at his portrait that stretches out towards us, distinctive but gentle, as it emerges a little further from its verbal ground, comes close to us – an encounter. By the means of language and discourse, whilst his large ears also suggest that he was an able listener, as his contemporaries attest – a true listener, mindful, friendly and interested. This is how he approaches us. There they are in beautiful communion, the human being and the language, his language, united in harmony, in a work of art made by the sculptor, conveying with finesse and sensitivity a feel for the breath of the lakes and the whispering voices that break the silence - giving them shape.