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Ingeborg Bachmann

In The Storm Of Roses

Wherever we turn in the storm of roses,
the night is lit up by thorns, and the thunder
of leaves, once so quiet within the bushes,
rumbling at our heels.

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I Step Outside Myself

I step outside
myself, out of my eyes,
hands, mouth, outside
of myself I
step, a bundle
of goodness and godliness
that must make good
this devilry
that has happened.

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Nach Dieser Sintflut

After this deluge
I wish to see the dove
saved,
nothing but the dove.

I would drown in this sea
if it did not fly away,
if it did not return with the leaf
in the final hour.

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Bruderschaft

Each and every thing cuts wounds,
and neither of us has forgiven the other.
Hurting like you and hurtful,
I lived towards you.

Every touch augments
the pure, the spiritual touch;
we experience it as we age,
turned into coldest silence.

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Verordnet Diesem Geschlecht Keinen Glauben

Do not decree faith on this race,
stars, ships and smoke are enough;
it is concerned with things, determines
stars and mathematical infinity,
and a trait, call it trait of love,
emerges more purely from it all.

The heavens hang limp, and stars come loose
from the juncture with moon and night.

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Stay

Now the journey is ending,
the wind is losing heart.
Into your hands it's falling,
a rickety house of cards.

The cards are backed with pictures
displaying all the world.
You've stacked up all the images
and shuffled them with words.

And how profound the playing
that once again begins!
Stay, the card you're drawing
is the only world you'll win.

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Advertisement

But where are we going
carefree be carefree
when it grows dark and when it grows cold
be carefree
but
with music
what should we do
cheerful and with music
and think
cheerful
in facing the end
with music
and to where do we carry
best of all
our questions and dread of all the years
to the dream laundry carefree be carefree
but what happens
best of all
when dead silence

[...] Read more

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I Know No Better World

Who knows of a better world should step forward.
Alone, no longer out of bravery, not wiping away this saliva,
this saliva worn upon the cheek
as if to a coronation, as if redeemed, whether at communion
or among comrades. The weak rabbit,
the rat, and those fallen there, all of them,
no longer alone, but as one, though still afraid,
the dream of returning home
in the dream of armament, in the dream
of returning home.

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Zummer An Winter

When I led by zummer streams
The pride o' Lea, as naighbours thought her,
While the zun, wi' evenen beams,
Did cast our sheades athirt the water;
Winds a-blowen,
Streams a-flowen,
Skies a-glowen,
Tokens ov my jay zoo fleeten,
Heightened it, that happy meeten.

Then, when maid an' man took pleaces,
Gay in winter's Chris'mas dances,
Showen in their merry feaces
Kindly smiles an' glisnen glances;
Stars a-winken,
Day a-shrinken,
Sheades a-zinken,
Brought anew the happy meeten,
That did meake the night too fleeten.

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Every Day

War is no longer declared,
only continued. The monstrous
has become everyday. The hero
stays away from battle. The weak
have gone to the front.
The uniform of the day is patience,
its medal the pitiful star of hope above the heart.

The medal is awarded
when nothing more happens,
when the artillery falls silent,
when the enemy has grown invisible
and the shadow of eternal armament
covers the sky.

It is awarded
for desertion of the flag,
for bravery in the face of friends,
for the betrayal of unworthy secrets
and the disregard

[...] Read more

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