The poetry of the Austrian poet Ingeborg Bachmann (1926 - 1973) is highly philosophical and difficult to decipher from the stranger with the specific reason for writing it. Bachman lived in a time when Austria was first occupied by the Third Reich, subjected to bombing, severe World War II and the freedom that came, but at the cruel cost of Russian occupation. A terrible period for the Austrian people, which lasted until the 1956 year, when Austria finally began its new free life after Russian troops were forced to leave the country. Her work is heavily focused on war, death and repression against man. Influenced by humanism, at the heart of her work is the human life and personality that seeks to survive and find a proper place in this unjust world.

I offer you some of her poems from the poetry collection Shadows, Roses, Shadows, translated by Fedya Filkova.

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Enchanted cloud castle, among which we wander.
Who knows, don't we wander this way
with glazed glances across countless heavens?
We, sharpened in time
and from the space of the Ousted,
we flyers of the night and no solid.

Who knows, didn't we fly to God,
but quickly, like arrows, we boiled over and without looking,
we were spraying our seeds
to flourish in even darker generations -
why are we guilty of wandering now?

Who knows, aren't we dying a long time ago?
The orb of clouds in us rises higher.
The split air is already shaking hands.
And when the voice stops and our breath stops?

Will the enchantment remain for the last hours?




Go, thought, until a word is clear to you
for the flight and it raises you and takes you,
where light metals bend,
where the air is cutting
in a new mind,
where weapons talk,
for a single opportunity.
Defend us there!

Wool lifted the raft and sank.
The fever took you in the arms and pushed you away.
Faith moved the mountain, just her.

Leave whatever can be left, go, think,

pierced only by our pain and nothing else.
Be yourself all the way!




They no longer declare war -
they continue it. The Unheard
is everyday. The hero
does not become a soldier. On the fiery line
send a weakling.
The uniform of the day is patience,
the reward - a miserable star of hope
on the heart.

She is awarded,
when nothing is happening,
when the drum fire goes out,
when the enemy becomes invisible
and a shadow of constant armament
forgot the sky.

She is awarded
to escape the flags,
for courage in front of a friend,
for betraying unworthy secrets
and for non-compliance
on no order.




The sun comes out of the vestibule of the sky,
filled with the heat of carcasses.
The immortals do not dwell there,
and the dead, we learn.

And glitter is not interested in corruption.
History, our deity,
she ordered us a grave,
from which there is no resurrection.




It snowed down the branches
over spring in the valley,
as an icy conclusion I peek through the wind,
wet snow, I pour over the colors
like a drop,
around you rot
as if around a swamp.
I am the thought-of-death-incessant.

I fly because I cannot walk peacefully,
through the secure constructions of all the skies
and I turn branches, I break down walls.
I warn because I can't sleep at night,
others with the distant noise of the sea,
climb the mouth of the waterfalls
and I crash from the peaks of thunder.

I am a child of the world's exorbitant fear,
hung in the midst of peace and joy
like bells in the middle of the day,
like hair in a ripe field.

I am-the-thought-of-death-incessant.


to Anna Akhmatova


To whom no word has been stuck,
i tell you
who kept getting away
and with the words…

we are safe.
Not even the short way,
neither in the long.

Keep a single sentence,
to stand in the midst of a bell of words.

Nobody writes this sentence
who would not sign.




Under a foreign sky
shadows of roses
on a foreign land
between roses and shadows
in a strange water
my shadow.

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