Ingeborg Bachmann. Darkness Spoken

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Out of the corpse-warm foyer of heaven steps thesun.

There it is not the immortals,

but rather the fallen, we perceive. 


And brilliance doesn’t trouble itself with decay. Our godhead,

history, has ordered for us a grave

from which there is no resurrection.


Darkness Spoken 

Like Orpheus I play

death on the strings of life,

and to the beauty of the Earth

and your eyes, which administer heaven,

I can only speak of darkness. 


Don’t forget that you also, suddenly,

on that morning when your camp

was still damp with dew, and a carnation

slept on your heart,

you saw the dark stream

race past you.


The string of silence

taut on the pulse of blood,

I grasped your beating heart.

Your curls were transformed

into the shadow hair of night,

black flakes of darkness

buried your face. 


And I don’t belong to you.

Both of us mourn now. 


But like Orpheus I know

life on the side of death,

and the deepening blue

of your forever closed eye. 


 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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