Elisabeth Borchers, Three Poems

Magritte, The Lovers (1928)

[My translation of three poems by German poet Elisabeth Borchers: b. 1926; also short stories, radio plays, children’s books, translations; worked in publishing for many years; sees her home as ‘elsewhere: Brecht, Hikmet, Neruda, there where poetry successfully combines with reason’]

Always something else

and you want to resurrect life-long
and the bird shades the house still
in death and the wind propagates
into the day into the night and shakes
your eye but it is empty the
waste baskets are empty too and the emptiness
has fallen asleep and won’t wake you anymore

woe is you the air is empty it takes you
not the tree is empty it takes you
not no bird are you bird any longer no
stone that weeps for you my stone and
neither the sun nor the moon

and you want to resurrect life-long
and ask and ask the next town
the other town and you knock and ask
is this the next town the next
house the house is empty the candles that
burn there aren’t burning so extinguish
them no one will ever again wake you

The Blue Fish

brook of beautiful stones
come here
but don’t hit me
can’t go on
am much too heavy
am much too heavy

you’ve shown me
the blue fish
it came from the sea
it can’t go on
is much too heavy
is much too heavy

what will you do
with it with me
the blue heart
is much too heavy
and wants to go far away
and wants to go far away

Someone is silent

SOMEONE IS SILENT
and you think he is speaking
and you answer
and speak well
and reveal yourself
layer by layer that you cannot
give you who is speaking
and it gets cold and colder

someone is silent
and you wait
for the silence
to all ends
and further
and the word does not carry
and you do not know
where the light is
the light and dark

someone is walking
and you think
he is walking well
and you follow him
and keep up with him
and do not go mad

someone is walking
and you think he is walking softly
on soft soles
and you pluck the softness
and leave the hard
and the ice crunches
and you say I can’t hear it

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~ by Peter Lach-Newinsky on October 13, 2011.

One Response to “Elisabeth Borchers, Three Poems”

  1. I would love for you to come by and check out my poem Misted Sound, written at Dylan Thomas’ boathouse…

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