“The world seems to be sinking into dusk
but I recount, as in the beginning,
in my sing-song voice which sustains me
saved by my tale from present confusion and troubles
and protected for the future.
Finished with the sweeping over the centuries
with going and back forth, as in the past.
Now I can think only from one day to the next.
My heroes are no longer the warriors and kings
but the things of peace, equal one to the other;
the drying onions equal to the tree trunk crossing the marsh.
But no one has so far succeeded in singing an epic of peace.
What is wrong with peace that its inspiration does not endure
and that it is almost untellable?
Shall I give up now?
If I give up now then mankind will lose its storyteller.
And if mankind once loses its storyteller then it will lose its childhood.
I cannot find the Potsdamer Platz. Maybe here?
It cannot be here. The Potsdamer Platz.
That’s where there was the Cafe Josti.
In the afternoons, that’s where I went to chat and drink a coffee,
and to watch the crowd, having smoked my cigar
at Löhse and Wolff, a renowned tobacconist.
Just about here.
But… this can’t be it, the Potsdamer Platz. No.
And no one whom you could ask.
It was a lively place.
Tramways, horse-drawn omnibuses and two cars:
mine and that of the chocolate shop, Harmann’s.
The Wertheim store was here, too.
And then, suddenly, the flags appeared. There.
The whole Platz was covered with them.
And the people weren’t friendly anymnore. And the police wasn’t either.
I will not give up as long as I have not found the Potsdamer Platz.
Where are my heroes? Where are you, my children?
Where are my own, the dull-witted, the curious ones,
the primeval, the original ones?
Name me, muse, the poor immortal singer who,
abandoned by his mortal audience, lost his voice.
He, who from angel of poetry that he was,
became the organ grinder, mocked and ignored,
outside, on the threshold to no-man’s land.”
The aged poet Homer in: Wings of Desire by Wim Wenders, 1987