Saturday 15 February 2020

Evening rain rings against the window leading

by Christine Lavant
translated from the German by David Chorlton

Evening rain rings against the window leading.
My carpet of brown packing paper
is full of tired folds.
In God's name, may I crush none!
The light in my eyes has really become so faint
in these recent bitter weeks.
What will we pray, Heart, as long as it rings?
First for the souls in Purgatory,
then for all those in despair: -
prisoners, the ones sick with cancer, or tuberculosis.
Not to forget animals in captivity,
withering away displaced and homesick!
But we must keep kneeling
for long lines of the mentally confused
on the glassy steps of melancholy
leading down to hellish madness.
If that has been overcome then help us God,
so we think of all who were our friends,
each benefactor too! - For without them we would now
be out in the rain with no roof above our heads,
only misery outside and in.

* * * * *

"Evening rain rings against the window leading" is from SHATTER THE BELL IN MY EAR: SELECTED POEMS OF CHRISTINE LAVANT, Translated from the German by David Chorlton (The Bitter Oleander Press, 2017).

Christine Lavant (July 4, 1915 – June 7, 1973) was an Austrian poet and novelist.

David Chorlton is a poet, translator, and visual artist. He lives in Phoenix.

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