COLOUR POEM

Friedensreich Hundertwasser

I <-- do not like to eat cherries,
I because <-- have to throw away the
stalks and spit out the stones
I <-- do not like to eat bananas,
I because <-- have to throw away
the peels
I <-- do not like to eat nuts, because
I <-- have to throw away the shells
I <-- do not like to eat oranges,
because the peels are too bitter
I <-- like to eat apples and pears
I <-- like to eat lemons, entire
lemons with their peel, cut into
very thin slices, with sugar
I <-- like to eat potatoes (with peels)
(and you must not pour away the
cooking water from vegetables and
potatoes, you should drink it)
I <-- do not like to buy colours in
tubes or pots, in bowls or cups,
I because <-- have to throw away
metal and porcelain
I <-- do not like to paint with colours
from paper-bags, because the
picture does not eat the wrapping
I <-- like to paint with genuine and
expensive and pure colours,
bought pulverized by the gram
I <-- also like to paint with the
button-shaped water-colours by
Günther Wagner (you can scratch off
the small bits of paper on their
backs and swallow them)
I <-- use colours down to the last,
tiniest drop
I <-- set all my colours side by side,
it would be a pity to have them cover
I each other if <-- painted them one
on top of the other, except if they
are transparent and
I <-- can look through
I <-- do not pour away the water
I with which <-- clean my palette
I but <-- spread and brush it onto the
I painting on which <--
also clean my brushes.
I This way <-- am sure that no
_________colour is lost




9 15

 

Written in Vienna 1957 for the Poster catalogue for Gallery St. Stephan: My eyes are tired, Vienna, 1957 (German).

Published in:

Blätter und Bilder Nr. 7, Würzburg 1960 Hundertwasser. Vollständiger Œuvre Katalog. Publiziert aus Anlaß der 100. Ausstellung der Kestner-Gesellschaft seit ihrer Wiedereröffnung nach dem Kriege. Text von Wieland Schmied (Hg.), mit 100 Farbreproduktionen. Kestner-Gesellschaft Hannover: Hannover 1964, S. 36 als „Farben-Gedicht“ in den Katalogen zur Welt-Wanderausstellung 1975–1987: Französische Ausgabe: Paris, Luxemburg, Marseille, Kairo, 1975; Kopenhagen, Dakar, 1976; Montreal, Brüssel, 1978. Englische Ausgabe: Tel Aviv, Reykjavik, 1976; Cape Town, Pretoria, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Brasilia, Caracas, 1977; Mexiko City, Toronto, 1978; Rom, Høvikodden, 1980; Helsinki, 1981; London, 1983. Deutsche Ausgabe: Warschau, 1976; Pfäffikon (Schweiz), 1979; Köln, 1980; Wien, Graz, 1981. Schurian, Walter (Hg.): Hundertwasser – Schöne Wege, Gedanken über Kunst und Leben. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag (dtv): München 1983, S. 109-110 und Ausgabe 2004 (Langen Müller Verlag, München), S. 129-130