The poem, ‘Spiral of Justice,’ or ‘Gerechtigkeitsspirale’ in its original German, was carved by Erhart Falckener onto a church pew in Hesse in 1510. The words are punctuated by red diamonds and surrounded by thistle and acanthus. I found an image of the pew while researching examples of shaped poetry. Reading the English translation is like reading the news: ‘Justice suffers in great need/Truth is slain dead […] Faleshood is of high birth.’
Justice suffers in great need.
Truth is beaten to death.
Faith has lost the argument.
Falsehood is of high birth.
That angers God the Lord.
O man, let go
That you may not always be lost.
(Adapted from English translations provided by Wikipedia)
As arts communities around the world experience a time of challenge and change, accessible, independent reporting on these developments is more important than ever.
Please consider supporting our journalism, and help keep our independent reporting free and accessible to all.