Paul Archer - photo Paul Archer - poet, translator



To the Sun

(English translation of 'An die Sonne' by Ingeborg Bachmann)

More beautiful than the impressive moon and her noble light,
More beautiful than the stars, the illustrious medallions of the night,
Much more beautiful than the fiery entry of a comet
And having a more beautiful mission than all the other stars
Since every day your life and mine depend on it, is the sun.

Beautiful sun, you rise, never forgetting to go about your task
And finish it, most beautifully in summer, when a day
Evaporates on the shores and mirrors the limp sails
Passing your eye until you tire and reef in the last one.

Without the sun even art takes the veil again,
When you cease to shine for me, the sea and the sand,
Swept by shadows, steal away under the lids of my eyes.

Beautiful light that warms us, preserves us and wondrously makes sure
That I see again and again see you!

Nothing’s more beautiful under the sun than being under the sun...

Nothing’s more beautiful than to see the rod in the water and the bird above
Focused on its flight, and, below, the fish in shoals,

Coloured, shaped, brought into the world with a mission to spread light
And to see your surroundings, the four corners of a field, the thousand edges of my land,
And the dress you’re wearing - and your dress is bell-shaped and blue!

Beautiful blue, where peacocks stroll and bow their heads,
The blue beyond, the zones of joy whose weathers lift my feelings,
Fortuitous blue on the horizon! And my excited eyes
Open wide again and sparkle and burn themselves sore.

Beautiful sun, you deserve more admiration from dust,
And therefore not because of the moon and the stars and not
Because night shows off its comets and tries to fool me,
But because of you, and endlessly soon, and for you above all else,
I shall lament the inevitable loss of my sight.


For more translations of poems by Ingeborg Bachmann, go to Translations.

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