Humanity and Nature, Warfare and Exploitation in Bertolt Brecht’s Poetry

  • Enzo Ferrara Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica, Torino (Italy). Interdisciplinary Research Institute on Sustainability, University of Torino, Italy.
  • Martin Dodman


Poetry – better than any sciences – can act as a powerful means to celebrate diversity while speaking a universal tongue. Poems, even those conceived during as difficult times as in war, can address the fulfilment of our fundamental needs, and exhort us to valorize and aim at cooperation, autonomy, and responsibility. That is why the poems of Bertolt Brecht contain a unique vision on the challenges of our times, able to gather in the same perspective the perils of humanity and nature. Although unaware of the climate and environmental disorder of our times, yet Brecht’s writings share a universal message sounding as a timeless warning. His works, made up of contrary elements, stand as the greatest iconoclastic compositions of modern age and can still be used to gain awareness of our limits on the earth.


Osman Arrobbio, Elena Camino, Laura Colucci–Gray, Martin Dodman, and Enzo Ferrara, Global Issues and Events. Relationships, Understanding and Actions at Individual and Community Levels, Visions for Sustainability, 6, pp.3-5, 2016.

Luciano Rebay, Introduction to Italian Poetry, Dover, 1991.

See the original translation by Scott Horton appeared on Harper’s magazine (January 15, 2008) who-follow-in-our-wake/

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