Towards Better Democracy

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Just Before Noon (Früher Mittag; Ingeborg Bachmann, German)

Tranquil the linden greens in the unfolding summer,
far removed from the cities, dimly flickers
the pale daytime moon. Already it is noon,
already in the fountain spouts the gleam,
already stands out among the broken glass
the fantastic bird’s battered wings,
and the stone thrown by the disfigured hand
sinks into the ripening rye.

Where Germany’s sky blackens the earth,
seeks for her decapitated angel a grave for the hatred

Showing translation for und reicht dir die Schlüssel des Herzens.
Translate instead und reicht dir die Schüssel des Herzens.
and hands you the keys of the heart.

A handful of pain disappears over the hill.

Seven years later,
it occurs to you again,
at the fountain in front of the gates,
not to look too deeply,
or your eyes will fill with tears.

Seven years later,
in House of the Dead,
drink the executioners of yesterday
from the golden cup.
You lower your eyes.

It is already noon, in the ashes
bends the iron, onto the mandrel
is the flag hoisted, and on the rocks
ancient dream remains,s henceforth
the eagle is forged.

Only hope cowers blinded by the light.

Release her bondage,
the shackels from her ankles
cover her eyes, that they
are not by the shadow scorched!

Where Germany’s earth blackens the sky,
examines the clouds for words and filled the crater with silence,
before she hears the summer in scattered showers.

The unspeakable spreads, said softly, across the land:
already is noon.

Ingeborg Bachmann

Worked from the German Früher Mittag, 1952
Malcolm D B Munro
Saturday 16 April, 2016

Copyright of the original is retained by the Copyright owner. The Copyright of this Translation is vested with the Author. The original, from which this translation is made, is used under the provisions of Section 107 of the US Copyright Act 1976, which allows for fair use of the original for translation purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship and research.

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