Wulf Kirsten established his reputation as a poet in the former East Germany and, since the events of 1989-90, he has kept a critical eye on contemporary society in the new German state. He was born in the village of Klipphausen, near Meissen in Saxony, in 1934 and his writing is strongly marked by his rural upbringing. Even in the 1970s, when ‘progress’ was highly valued by the East German state, he was speaking out against the loss of nature, landscape and the village as it had developed over centuries. ‘village’ was written in 1974 and published in Der Bleibaum: Gedichte, Berlin and Weimar: Aufbau-Verlag, 1977; reprinted in erdlebenbilder: gedichte aus 50 jahren, Zürich: Ammann Verlag, 2004.
– from the introduction by Dennis Tomlinson in MPT Series 3/10, The Big Green Issue