22+ Best Ingeborg Bachmann Poems

Ingeborg Bachmann was an Austrian poet and author.

If you’re searching for famous poems ever that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of greatest Katherine Mansfield poems, powerful John Berryman poems and most known Leo Yankevich poems.

Famous Ingeborg Bachmann Poems

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.

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.

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.

Menschenlos

Verwunschnes Wolkenschloß, in dem wir treiben…
Wer weiß, ob wir nicht schon durch viele Himmel
so ziehen mit verglasten Augen?
Wir, in die Zeit verbannt
und aus dem Raum gestoßen,
wir, Flieger durch die Nacht und Bodenlose.

Wer weiß, ob wir nicht schon um Gott geflogen,
und, weil wir pfeilschnell schäumten ohne ihn zu sehen
und unsre Samen weiterschleuderten,
um in noch dunkleren Geschlechtern fortzuleben,
jetzt schuldhaft treiben?

Wer weiß, ob wir nicht lange, lang schon sterben?
Der Wolkenball mit uns strebt immer höher.
Die dünne Luft lähmt heute schon die Hände,
und wenn die Stimme bricht und unser Atem steht…?
Bleibt Verwunschenheit für letzte Augenblicke?

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
of every command.

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.

To The Sun

More beatiful than the remarkable moon and her noble light,
More beautiful than the stars, the famous medals of the night,
More beautiful than the fiery entrance a comet makes,
And called to a part far more splendid than any other planet’s
Because daily your life and my life depend on it, is the sun.

Beautifu sun that rises, his work not forgotten,
And completes it, most beautifully in summer, when a day
Evaporates on the coast, and effortlessly mirrored the sails
Pass through your sight, till you tire and cut short the last.

Without the sun even art takes the veil again,
You cease to appear to me, and the sea and the sand,
Lashed by shadows, take refuge under my eyelids.

Beautiful light, that keeps us warm, preserves us, marvellously makes sure
That I see again and that I see you again!

Nothing more beautiful under the sun than to be under the sun . . .

Nothing more beautiful than to see the stick in water and the bird above,
Pondering his flight, and, below, the fishes in shoals,

Coloured, moulded, brought into the world with a mission of light,
And to see the radius, the square of a field, my landscape’s thousand angles

and the dress you have put on. And yourdress, bell-shaped and blue!
Beautiful blue, in which peacocks walk and bow,

Blue of far places, the zones of joy with weathers that suit my mood,
Blue chance on the horizon! and my enchanted eyes
Dilate again and blink and burn themselves sore.

Beautiful sun, to whom dust owes great admiration yet,
Not for the moon, therefore, and not for the stars, and not
Because night shows off with comets, trying to fool me,
But for your sake, and endlessly soon, and for you above all

I shall lament the inevitable loss of my sight.

Nebelland

Im Winter ist meine Geliebte
unter den Tieren des Waldes.
Daß ich vor Morgen zurückmuß,
weiß die Füchsin und lacht.
Wie die Wolken erzittern! Und mir
auf den Schneekragen fällt
eine Lage von brüchigem Eis.

Im Winter ist meine Geliebte
ein Baum unter Bäumen und lädt
die glückverlassenen Krähen
ein in ihr schönes Geäst. Sie weiß,
daß der Wind, wenn es dämmert,
ihr starres, mit Reif besetztes
Abendkleid hebt und mich heimjagt.

Im Winter ist meine Geliebte
unter den Fischen und stumm.
Hörig den Wassern, die der Strich
ihrer Flossen von innen bewegt,
steh ich am Ufer und seh,
bis mich Schollen vertreiben,
wie sie taucht und sich wendet.

Und wieder vom Jagdruf des Vogels
getroffen, der seine Schwingen
über mir steift, stürz ich
auf offenem Feld: sie entfiedert
die Hühner und wirft mir ein weißes
Schlüsselbein zu. Ich nehm’s um den Hals
und geh fort durch den bitteren Flaum.

Treulos ist meine Geliebte,
ich weiß, sie schwebt manchmal
auf hohen Schuh’n nach der Stadt,
sie küßt in den Bars mit der Strohhalm
die Gläser tief auf den Mund,
und es kommen ihr Worte für alle.
Doch diese Sprache verstehe ich nicht.

Nebelland hab ich gesehen,
Nebelherz hab ich gegessen.

Holz Und Späne

Von den Hornissen will schweigen,
denn sie sind leicht zu erkennen.
Auch die laufenden Revolutionen
sind nicht gefährlich.
Der Tod im Gefolge des Lärms
ist beschlossen von jeher.

Doch vor den Eintagsfliegen und den Frauen
nimm dich in acht, vor den Sonntagsjägern,
den Kosmetikern, den Unentschiedenen, Wohlmeinenden,
von keiner Verachtung getroffnen.

Aus den Wäldern trugen wir Reisig und Stämme,
und die Sonne ging uns lange nicht auf.
Berauscht vom Papier am Fließband,
erkenn ich die Zweige nicht wieder,
noch das Moos, in dunkleren Tinten gegoren,
noch das Wort, in die Rinden geschnitten,
wahr und vermessen.

Blätterverschleiß, Spruchbänder,
schwarze Plakate . . . Bei Tag und bei Nacht
bebt, unter diesen und jenen Sternen,
die Maschine des Glaubens. Aber ins Holz,
solang es noch grün ist, und mit der Galle,
solang sie noch bitter ist, bin ich
zu schreiben gewillt, was im Anfang war!

Seht zu, daß ihr wachtbleibt!

Der Spur der Späne, die flogen, folgt
der Hornisschwarm, und am Brunnen
sträubt sich der Lockung,
die uns einst schwächte, das Haar.

Freude der Schiffbrüche

Und plötzlich nimmst du
die Fahrt wieder auf
wie
nach dem Schiffbruch
ein überlebender
Seebär

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.

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.

Die Häfen Waren Geöffnet

Die Häfen waren geöffnet. Wir schifften uns ein,
die Segel voraus, den Traum über Bord,
Stahl an den Knien und Lachen um unsere Haare,
denn unsere Ruder trafen ins Meer, schneller als Gott.

Unsere Ruder schlugen die Schaufeln Gottes und teilten
die Flut;
vorne war Tag, und hinten blieben die Nächte,
oben war unser Stern, und unten versanken die andern,
draußen verstummte der Sturm, und drinnen wuchs unsre
Faust.

Erst als ein Regen entbrannte, lauschten wir wieder;
Speere stürzten herab und Engel traten hervor,
hefteten schwärzere Augen in unsere schwarzen.
Vernichtet standen wir da. Unser Wappen flog auf:

Ein Kreuz im Blut und ein größeres Schiff überm Herzen.

Theme And Variation

That summer there was no honey.
The queens led their swarms away,
the strawberry bed dried up in a day,
the berrypickers went home early.

All that sweetness, swept on one ray of light
off to sleep. Who slept this sleep before his time?
Honey and berries? He is a stranger to suffering,
the one with the world at his hands. In want of nothing.

In want of nothing but perhaps a bit,
enought to rest or to stand straight.
He was bent by caves-and shadows,
because no country took him in.
He wasn’t even safe in the wood-
a partisan whom the world reliquished
toher dead satellite, the moon.

He is a stranger to sufferin, the one with the world
[at his hands,
and was anything not handed him? He had the bettle’s
cohort wrapped round his finger, blazes
branded his face with scars and the wellspring
appeared as a chimera before his eyes,
where it was not.

Honey and berries?
Had he ever known the scent, he’d have followed it
long ago!

Walking a sleepwalker’s sleep,
who slept this sleep before his time?
One who was born ancient
and called to the darkness early.
All that sweetness swept on one ray of light
before him.

He spat into the undergrowth a curse
to bring drought, he screamed
and his prayers were heard:
the berrypickers went home early!
When the root rose up
and slithered after them, hissing
a snakeskin remained, the tree’s last defense.
The strawberry bed dried up in a day.

In the village below, the buckets stood empty
like drums waiting in the square.
Then the sun struck
and paradiddled death.

The windows fell shut,
the queens led their swarms away,
and no one prevented them from fleeing.
Wilderness took them in,
the hollow tree among ferns,
the first free state.
The last human being was stung
and felt no pain.

That summer there was no honey.

The Game Is Over (Das Spiel Ist Aus)

My dear brother, when will we build a raft?
to float down the sky on??
My dear brother, soon our load will be so heavy?
that we’ll sink.

My dear brother, onto paper?
we’ll draw many countries and tracks.?
Watch out for the black lines?
or you’ll fly sky high with the land mines.

My dear brother, i want to be tied to a stake
?and scream.?
Already you ride out of death valley
?and together we will flee.

On guard in the gypsy camp, on guard in the desert camp,
?the sand streams from our hair,
?your age and my age and the age of the world
?cannot be measured in years.

Don’t be deceived by cunning ravens, sticky spider’s hands
?and a feather in the bush,?
don’t eat and drink in a fool’s paradise,?
illusion gleams in pans and mugs.

Only he who by the golden bridge?
still remembers the name for the?Karfunkel fairy has won.?
i must tell you that it melted after the last snow in the garden.

Many, many stones have made our feet so sore.
?One can heal. We will use it to jump with,?
until the children’s king, with the key to his kingdom
?in his mouth comes for us and then we will sing:

it‘s a beautiful moment when the date pit sprouts!
?Each one that falls has wings.?
Red foxglove fringes the shroud of the poor?
and your parnassia sinks onto my seal.

We must go to sleep, darling, the game is over.
?On tip-toe. The white shirts swell.?
Father and mother say there are ghosts in the house?
when we exchange breath.

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.

Easter Zunday

Last Easter Jim put on his blue
Frock cwoat, the vu’st time-vier new;
Wi’ yollow buttons all o’ brass,
That glitter’d in the zun lik’ glass;
An’ pok’d ‘ithin the button-hole
A tutty he’d a-begg’d or stole.
A span-new wes-co’t, too, he wore,
Wi’ yellow stripes all down avore;
An’ tied his breeches’ lags below
The knee, wi’ ribbon in a bow;
An’ drow’d his kitty-boots azide,
An’ put his laggens on, an’ tied
His shoes wi’ strings two vingers wide,
Because ‘twer Easter Zunday.

An’ after mornen church wer out
He come back hwome, an’ stroll’d about
All down the vields, an’ drough the leane,
Wi’ sister Kit an’ cousin Jeane,
A-turnen proudly to their view
His yollow breast an’ back o’ blue.
The lambs did play, the grounds wer green,
The trees did bud, the zun did sheen;
The lark did zing below the sky,
An’ roads wer all a-blown so dry,
As if the zummer wer begun;
An’ he had sich a bit o’ fun!
He meade the maidens squeal an’ run,
Because ‘twer Easter Zunday.

A Kind Of Loss

Used together: seasons, books, a piece of music.
The keys, teacups, bread basket, sheet and a bed.
A hope chest of words, of gestures, brought back, used, used up.
A household order maintained. Said. Done. And always a head was there.
I’ve fallen in love with winter, with a Viennese septet, wiht summer.
With Village maps, a mountain nest, a beach and a bed.
Kept a calender cult, declared promises irrevocable,
bowed before something, was pious to a nothing

(-to a folded newspaper, cold ashes, the scribbled piece of paper) ,
fearless in religion, for our bed was the church.

From my lake view arose my inexhaustible painting.
From my balcony I greeted entire peoples, my neighbors.
By the chimney fire, in safety, my hair took on its deepest hue.
The ringing at the door was the alarm for my joy.

It’s not you I’ve lost,
but the world.

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

Borrowed Time

Harder days are coming.
The loan of borrowed time
will be due on the horizon.
Soon you must lace up your boots
and chase the hounds back to the marsh farms.
For the entrails of fish
have grown cold in the wind.
Dimly burns the light of lupines.
Your gaze makes out in fog:
the loan of borrowed time
will be due on the horizon.

There your loved one sinks in sand;
it rises up to her windblown hair,
it cuts her short,
it commands her to be silent,
it discovers she’s mortal
and willing to leave you
after every embrace.

Don’t look around.
Lace up your boots.
Chase back the hounds.
Throw the fish into the sea.
Put out the lupines!

Harder days are coming.

The Broken Heart

News o’ grief had overteaken
Dark-eyed Fanny, now vorseaken;
There she zot, wi’ breast a-heaven,
While vrom zide to zide, wi’ grieven,
Vell her head, wi’ tears a-creepen
Down her cheaks, in bitter weepen.
There wer still the ribbon-bow
She tied avore her hour ov woe,
An’ there wer still the hans that tied it
Hangen white,
Or wringen tight,
In ceare that drowned all ceare bezide it.

When a man, wi’ heartless slighten,
Mid become a maiden’s blighten,
He mid cearelessly vorseake her,
But must answer to her Meaker;
He mid slight, wi’ selfish blindness,
All her deeds o’ loven-kindness,
God wull waigh ’em wi’ the slighten
That mid be her love’s requiten;
He do look on each deceiver,
He do know
What weight o’ woe
Do break the heart ov ev’ry griever.

Psalm

1

Be silent with me, as all bells are silent!

In the afterbirth of terror
the rabble grovels for new nourishment.
On Good Friday a hand hangs on display
in the firmament, two fingers missing,
and it cannot swear that all of it,
all of it didn’t happen, and nothing
ever will. It dives into red clouds,
whisks off the new murderers
and goes free.

Each night on this earth
open the windows, fold back the sheets
so that the invalid’s secret lies naked,
a sore full of sustenance, endless pain
for every taste.

Gloved butchers cease
the breath of the naked;
the moon in the doorway falls to earth;
let the shards lie, the handle….

All was prepared for the last rites.
(The sacrament cannot be completed.)

2

How vain it all is.
Roll into a city,
rise from the city’s dust,
take over a post
and diguise yourself
to avoid exposure

Fulfill the promises
before a tarnished mirror in the air,
before a shut door in the wind.

Untraveled are the paths on the steep slope of heaven.

3

O eyes, scorched by th Earth’s reservoir of sun,
weighted with the rain of all eyes,
and now absorbed, interwoven
by the tragic spiders
of the present…

4

In the hollow of my muteness
lay a word
and grow tall forests on both sides,
such that my mouth
lies wholly in shade.

tranlated by Peter Filkins

Songs from an Island
Ingeborg Bachmann

Shadow fruit is falling from the walls,
moonlight bathes the house in white, and the ash
of extinct craters is borne in by the sea winnd.

In the embrace of handsome youths
the coasts are sleeping.
Your flesh remembers mine,
it was already inclined to me,
when the ships
loosened themselves from shore and the cross
of our mortal burden
kept watch in the rigging.

Now the execution sites are empty,
they search but cannot find us.

.

When you rise from the dead,
when I rise from the dead,
no stone will lie before the gate,
no boat will rest on the sea.

Tomorrow the casks will roll
toward Sunday waves,
we come on anointed

soles to the shore, wash
the grapes and stamp
the harvest into wine,
tomorrow, on the shore.

When you rise from the dead,
when I rise from the dead,
the hangman will hang at the gate,
the hammer will sink into the sea.

.

One day the feast must come!
Saint Anthony, you who have suffered,
Saint Leonard, you who have suffered,
Saint Vitus, you who have suffered.

Make way for our prayers, way fro the worshippers,
room for music and joy!
We have learned simplicity,
we sing in the choir of cicadas,
we eat and drink,
the lean cats
rub against our table,
until evening mass begins
I hold your hand
with my eyes,
and a quiet, brave heart
sacrifices its wishes to you

Honey and nuts for the childern,
teeming nets for the fishermen,
fertility for the gradens,
moon for the volcano, moon for the volcano!

Our sparks leapt over the borders,
above the night fireworks fanned their
tails, the procession
floats away on dark rafts and gives
time to the primeval world,
to the plodding lizards,
to the carnivorous plant,
to the feverish fish,
to the orgies of wind and the lust
of mountains where a pious
star loses its way, collides with their face
and dissolves into dust.

Stand firm, you foolish saints.
Tell the mainland the craters aren’t resting!
Saint Roch, you who have suffered,
oh you who have suffered, Saint Francis.

.

When someone departs he must throw his hat,
filled with the mussels he spent the summer
gathering, in the sea
and sail off with his hair in the wind,
he must hurl the table,
set for his love, in the sea,
he must pour the wine,
left in his glass, into the sea,
he must give his bread to the fish
and mix a drop of his blood with the sea,
he must drive his knife deep into the waves
and sink his shoes,
heart, anchor and cross,
and sail off with his hair in the wind.
Then he will return.
When?
Do not ask.

.

There is fire under the earth,
and the fire is pure.

There is fire under the eart
and molten rock.

There is a torrent under the earth,
it will stream into us.

There is a torrent under the earth.
it will scorch our bones.

A great fire is coming,
a torrent is coming over the earth.

We shall be witnesses.

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