Thursday, December 27, 2012

Ingeborg Bachmann

Every Day

War is not declared any more,
but simply continued. The terrible
is an everyday thing. The hero
stays far from battles. The weakling
is moved into the firing lines.
The uniform of the day is patience,
its decoration the shabby star
of hope above the heart.

It is conferred
when nothing more happens, 
when the drumfire stops,
when the enemy has become invisible,
and the shadow of eternal armament
darkens the sky.

It is conferred
for the deserting of flags,
for courage in the face of friends,
for the betrayal of despicable secrets
and disregard 
of all commands.

tr. Christopher Middleton

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