'daß du nur du bist wenn du alles bist'

erich fried.jpg

Dich / You

by Erich Fried


dich sein lassen
ganz dich

Sehen, daß du nur du bist
wenn du alles bist
was du bist
das Zarte
und das Wilde
das was sich anschmiegen
und das was sich loßreißen will

Wer nur die Hälfte liebt
der liebt dich nicht halb
sondern gar nicht
der will dich zurechtschneiden

Dich dich sein lassen
ob das schwer oder leicht ist?
Es kommt nicht darauf an mit wieviel
Vorbedacht und Verstand
sondern mit wieviel Liebe und mit wieviel
offener Sehnsucht nach allem – 
nach allem
was du ist

Nach der Wärme 
und nach der Kälte
nach der Güte 
und nach dem Starrsinn
nach deinem Willen
und Unwillen
nach jeder deiner Gebärden
nach deiner Ungebärdigkeit

ist dieses
dich dich sein lassen
gar nicht so schwer

by Erich Fried

‘Dich’ by Erich Fried from 'Es ist was es ist’ © 1983 Verlag Klaus Wagenbach, Berlin



to let you be you
all you 

To see
that you are only you
when you’re everything
that you are
the tender one
and the wild one
that wants to break free

and wants to come close 

Whoever loves the half
loves you not by half
but not at all
wants to cut you to size
to amputate
to maim you 

To let you be you
is it hard or easy?
It’s not a matter of how much
forethought and understanding
but of how much love and how much
open longing for everything –
for all
that is you 

For the warmth
and the coldness
for the goodness
and obstinacy
for your wilfulness
and unwillingness
for each of your gestures
for your awkwardness

Then this
letting you be you
maybe isn’t so difficult
after all

by Erich Fried

translated by Stuart Hood

'Love Poems' by Erich Fried trans. Stuart Hood (Alma Classics, June 2012).


Poem as Friend to Katherine

'Dich' 'You' by Erich Fried - Poem As Fr
Dich / Youby Erich Fried

In this episode, Katharine talks about the poem that has been a friend to her – ‘Dich’ / ‘You’ by Erich Fried.


We are delighted to feature ‘Dich’ / ‘You’ in this episode and would like to thank Verlag Klaus Wagenbach for allowing us to use it in this way.


Katharine visited The Poetry Exchange at St Chad's College Chapel in Durham, during Durham Book Festival, in association with Durham University Foundation Programme. We’re very grateful to all our Durham partners for hosting us so warmly.




Katharine is in conversation with The Poetry Exchange team members, Michael Shaeffer and Andrea Witzke-Slot.


'Dich’ / ‘You' is read by Michael Shaeffer.


We talk to people about the poem that has been a friend to them.

In exchange we create a gift for them, a bespoke reading of their chosen poem inspired by the conversation. Our award-winning podcast shares these unique and powerful stories of connection with people across the world. 


We set up an intimate environment for these conversations at festivals, in arts, cultural and public spaces across the country. We also hold exchanges ‘long distance’. Our visitors come from all walks of life and we also feature well-known personalities such as Andrew Scott, Maxine Peake, Roy McFarlane and Paterson Joseph.