Poetry by H.C. Artmann

 

translated by Johannes Beilharz

 

forest ...
   
I'm the deep dark jug : the leaf is a sunny afternoon
of my own dusky soul : unadorned by pearls I too am fragrant
full of foreboding my eyes : blossom-rooted in the night moss
one light after another : rustling moon silk
converges in my smile : the spiders breathe

        march 1946
   

 

a drawing board of winter ...

a drawing board of winter,
everything pro forma,
the evening's riders above.

wish I had a clear eye
and a sense for stars.

I am forty years old.

my legs have been sewn into
a single boot.

I am a hopper
among runners.

          1960

 

the sun is a new house ...

the sun is a new house
you write it
it is tomorrow
we hold our hands through
the open windows

the cricket sets its clockwork
you write it
it is tomorrow
the day arranges a blue dress
in our garden

oh how cool the rose still is
you write it
it is tomorrow
the butterflies still wrap their wings
in silky paper

every word comes from the rose
you write it
it is tomorrow
how nice the leaves so leafy
to expect leaf

an apple cut into halves precisely
you write it
it is tomorrow
maybe the lark's
flight will unite it once more

 

again I walk this way a man the sea ...

again I walk this way a man the sea
the cabins colored red their wood cloud and cloud

nothing remains still fern bush and tree
turn in this rustling hoop

one should stroll across grass with the wind often
often marvel at the hundred elk drinking from the creek

often should the maple put its hand around one's hips
as if it were some matinal light an awakening

often one should speak words with tongues of whitethorn
like somebody passionately in love before the union

like the reflection of a jay high above
who thinks his own shape in two

the clover will not tremble by the sea much longer
it will send its scent out towards the bees

when you take my hand as I take yours
this treaty will be blessed by day and dream

 

Copyright by H.C. Artmann. Translations copyright by Johannes Beilharz 1979 / 2000.

 

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