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The parlando is a rhythmic pattern comparable to the litany, which was developed by Gottfried Benn in his last poetic volumes 'Fragmente' (1951), 'Destillationen' (1953) and 'Aprèslude' (1955), it could be translated as 'as spoken'. This pattern is characterized – for instance in the poem Teils Teils- by Benn's chatting diction and the assembly of disparate parts in the sense of a parallelization of high speech and jargon. Benn himself assigned this style to the so-called "Phase II" of his poetry or "Phase II of the expressionist style": Like the "former mankind" who "came to its end", poetry must also be "reassembled, from the thought, from idioms, proverbs, senseless references, from sophistry", according to the definition in the essay "Double Life"

In research, this style has been defined by its "concrete states of consciousness, spatially temporally localizable, situatively determined experience" (Willems 1981, 90). From a prosodic point of view, it should also be emphasized that the parlando - like the 'variable foot' - has an isocolic structure, but does not follow the rule of the 'breath controlled line'. Benn himself also pointed out that his parlando poems were full of "slang expressions and argots" (SW VI, 30).

This new chattering tone, introduced by Benn in the 1950s, was not known in Germany - unlike in the USA - until then. Nevertheless, Detlev von Liliencron (1844-1909) must have been influential with his linguistic-situative renewal of romantic poetry through the use of colloquial language and newspaper notes, as well as emphatically banal or macabre subjects and situations: Benns Parlando's characteristic combination of free rhythms, everyday tone and technical jargon remains implicitly committed to Liliencron's model. More important, however, was the acquaintance of Benn with the writer, translator, literary critic and publisher Rainer Maria Gerhardt from Freiburg, who introduced Benn to the authors of the Black Mountain Group around Charles Olson, but also refreshed Benn's knowledge of the free poetry of American modernism - Walt Whitman, Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams -, who all have been inflential for the parlando poetry.

This style developed by Benn was particularly influential for authors of the Federal Republic such as Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Peter Rühmkorf and Michael Krüger. At present, the Berlin authors Simone Kornappel, Adrijana Bohocki, Steffen Popp and Hendrik Jackson , in particular, have recalled this form and described it as "a fast singing similar to speech singing with close observation of rhythm". The "Parlandopark" created against this background is "camouflage name for revue & revolt, place for lyrical escapades and critical accusations" as well as forum for "concepts, texts, sounds - escape points in the midst of the desolation of Prenzlauer Berg, the rampant marketing, quarking and dressing up".


Lange-Kirchheim, Astrid: Gottfried Benns späte Lyrik im Kontext anglo-amerikanischer Literatur, in: Hofmannsthal, Jahrbuch zur europäischen Moderne, Bd. 15, Romberg, Freiburg, 2007, S. 357–386;

Petersdorff, Dirk von: Benn in der Bundesrepublik, in: Reents, Friederike (Hg.): Gottfried Benns Modernität, Göttingen 2007, S. 24–37.

Willems, Gottfried: Großstadt- und Bewußtseinspoesie. Über Realismus in der modernen Lyrik, insbesondere im lyrischen Spätwerk Gottfried Benns und in der deutschen Lyrik seit 1965, Tübingen 1981.

Willems, Gottfried: Benns Projekt der "Phase II" und die Problematik einer Postmoderne, in: Glaser, Horst A. (Hg.): G. B. 1886–1956. Frankfurt am Main 21991, S. 9–28.