Paul Archer - photo Paul Archer - poet, translator



In your eyes there are windows

(English translation of 'Innen sind deine Augen Fenster' by Ingeborg Bachmann)

In your eyes there are windows
to a land where I stand in full view.

In your chest there's a sea
that draws me to its floor.
In your lap there’s a landing place
for my ships, coming home
from travelling too far.

Happness makes a silver rope,
I lie fastened to it.

In your mouth there’s a fluffy nest
for my fledgling tongue.
In your flesh there's a melon light,
sweet and unendingly edible.
Your veins are calm inside
and entirely filled with the gold
which I wash with my tears
and which will one day redeem me.

You receive honours, your arms embrace
the goods that were given to you first.

In your feet there's never any going onwards,
rather they have already arrived in my sandy land.
In your bones there are bright flutes
from which I can conjure up sounds
that even bewitch death...

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

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