Letter in Two Versions

by Ingeborg Bachmann

Ingeborg Bachmann

Rome in November evening thank you very much
the smooth marble reef the cold tiles
the spray of lights before the gates close
the sound with which frozen glasses crack
the singsong they wring out of guitars
ere they put the skulls in the coins
punch on the arena with cypress lances!
the woodworm sat at my table –
what does a leaf look like that caterpillars eat?
and autumn in Misty Land the brightly colored rags
of the forests under great rain pumps
whether there are owls, wooing for death
the dragons that die in warm swamps
the sail blackens the wail of the ravens
the north wind to dig up the waters
the ghost ship the heaps and the heathen
the house heaps the weeping willows with rubble
indebted and indebted to the stream of coffins
the madness they salvage from the depths
Always and never mixed into a drink
your sorrowful heart deifying all suffering
annihilated and lost lovesick...

Rome at night in November harmony and peace
the farewell without insult is completed
a pure shine has flown over the eyes
the pillars grow from the tamarinds
o heaven that binds the blue tones!
discs land in the middle of the fountain
they turn to light rose steps
cats stretch their claws voluptuously
sleep has fallen on a last star
the mouth escapes the kisses without a notch
the silk shoe is unharmed by shards
the wine sinks quickly through twilight thoughts
jumps back light with his bright paws
embraces the times and flings them into the present
the hills are stormed by the first pack of cars
Antennas parade in front of temples
receive morning choirs and ignite
for each market cry prizes birdcalls
the mirror writing of the hooves dips into the pavement
the chrysanthemums fill up graves
Sea breeze and mountain wind mix scent and tears
I'm in the middle - what do you expect?

Last updated October 31, 2022