Ingeborg Bachmann

(1926 - 1973 / Austria)

Borrowed Time - Poem by Ingeborg Bachmann

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.


Comments about Borrowed Time by Ingeborg Bachmann

  • Fabrizio Frosini Fabrizio Frosini (11/6/2015 8:04:00 AM)

    AND THIS IS THE ORIGINAL GERMAN TEXT:

    ''Die gestundete Zeit'', by Ingeborg Bachmann


    Es kommen härtere Tage.
    Die auf Widerruf gestundete Zeit
    wird sichtbar am Horizont.
    Bald musst du den Schuh schnüren
    und die Hunde zurückjagen in die Marschhöfe.
    Denn die Eingeweide der Fische
    sind kalt geworden im Wind.
    Ärmlich brennt das Licht der Lupinen.
    Dein Blick spurt im Nebel:
    die auf Widerruf gestundete Zeit
    wird sichtbar am Horizont.

    Drüben versinkt dir die Geliebte im Sand,
    er steigt um ihr wehendes Haar,
    er fällt ihr ins Wort,
    er befiehlt ihr zu schweigen,
    er findet sie sterblich
    und willig dem Abschied
    nach jeder Umarmung.

    Sieh dich nicht um.
    Schnür deinen Schuh.
    Jag die Hunde zurück.
    Wirf die Fische ins Meer.
    Lösch die Lupinen!

    Es kommen härtere Tage. (Report) Reply

    6 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Fabrizio Frosini Fabrizio Frosini (11/6/2015 8:02:00 AM)

    ITALIAN TRANSLATION:

    Il tempo dilazionato


    S'avanzano giorni più duri.
    Il tempo dilazionato e revocabile
    già appare all'orizzonte.
    Presto dovrai riallacciare le scarpe
    e ricacciare i cani ai cascinali:
    le viscere dei pesci nel vento
    si sono fatte fredde.
    Brucia a stento la luce dei lupini.
    Lo sguardo tuo la nebbia esplora:
    il tempo dilazionato e revocabile
    già appare all'orizzonte.

    Laggiù l'amata ti sprofonda nella sabbia,
    che le sale ai capelli tesi al vento,
    le tronca la parola,
    le comanda di tacere,
    la trova mortale,
    e proclive all'addio
    dopo ogni amplesso.

    Non ti guardare intorno.
    Allacciati le scarpe.
    Rimanda indietro i cani.
    Getta in mare i pesci.
    Spegni i lupini!

    S'avanzano giorni più duri.


    (''Die gestundete Zeit'', Ingeborg Bachmann - traduzione di M.T. Mandalari) (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 23, 2012

Poem Edited: Wednesday, September 25, 2013


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