I learned about the schizophrenic Austrian poet Ernst Herbeck from W. G. Sebald's essay collection Campo Santo, then discovered that Gary Sullivan maintains a blog devoted to translating Herbeck.
Herbeck spent forty years in a mental hospital in lower Austria. The story goes that his psychologist, the writer Leo Navratil, would give him a blank postcard, a pen, and a title/topic, and Herbeck would proceed to write a poem, which he never subsequently revised. Here is Herbeck's poem “Poetry,” in Gary Sullivan's translation, courtesy of Fascicle:
"Poetry is an oral form of making history in slow motion. Poetry is a literary work. The teacher taught us in school that poetry is sealed. Poetry hates reality more difficult than itself. The poem is a transference of authority to the reader. The reader picks up the poem & that's history in the trees. Poetry teaches you from the animal out, to find it in the wild. How gazelles are reputable historiographers."
Sebald's essay in Campo Santo, translated by Anthea Bell, includes a partial rendering of the same poem:
"Poetry is an oral way of shaping history in slow motion... Poetry is also antipathetic to reality, and weighs more heavily. Poetry transfers authority to the pupil. The pupil learns poetry; and that is the history in the book. We learn poetry from the animal in the woods. Gazelles are famous historians."
One thing this seems to show is that you can be pretty crazy and still understand what poetry is.
It's also striking how different these two translations are. Are gazelles famous historians or reputable historiographers? Here is Gary Sullivan reading Herbeck translations on Youtube. The Notwist was also impacted by Herbeck.