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Archive for the ‘German literature’ Category

I am so young. I like every sound,
That surprises me, gives me shivers,
And turns me willingly with the force
Of the dear wind; how my longing wants
To follow the winding path to the garden.
And I will boast of every piece of armor,
As long as I feel, how my chest expands.
Then will be the time, to turn armor into kindling,
When out of the morning coolness of these coasts,
The day leads me into the land.

-Rainer Maria Rilke
translated by Joe Bandel

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Soft Wind

Chill surrounds the world, and also
Chills my heart, that stares in heartache
Without tears, without a song
I sit motionless and wait.

The soft wind comes a singing,
Stroking, releasing inside and once more,
Streams glisten, tears sparkle,
And the pain becomes a song.

-Mia Holm
translated by Joe Bandel

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Mother’s Joy

If I can’t be a child,
I want to have children!
And they can be girls,
Or lusty boys.
Their little mouths bubble
Like lively spring fountains,
As they run happily and quickly
Behind me like little puppies.
Loud crowing and deep humming,
Whistling, jumping, laughing
With little shirts rumpled
And seams bursting.
Playing stork on one leg,
Bear on all fours,
Its charming to be a mama!
I just want to try it.

-Mia Holm
translated by Joe Bandel

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Sleep Walker

Deeply dreaming she wanders
Without fear,
A radiant joy suffuses
Her tender cheeks.

The moonlight wraps around
Her slender limbs,
Ecstatic, enraptured, she smiles
As she looks down at you.

You call to her, she comes,
Then watch her fade away,
As she lies down at your feet,
Prepared to die.

-Mia Holm
translated by Joe Bandel

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I Don’t Know What

It comes to me, I don’t know what,
It comes to me, I don’t know how.
It climbs into my eyes, moist;
It fills my heart with harmony.

It blows me like flowers in the wind,
Seems puzzling, and yet so clear,
It is not God; It is not my child,
And yet is as wonderful as both.

-Mia Holm
translated by Joe Bandel

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Difference

The bright tears, like light dew,
That my lovely boy cries,
Dry quickly, when the warm
Summer sun shines once more.

But mine are like rain drops
In a bleak autumnal world,
Frozen to ice over night,
And fall down, tear after tear.

-Mia Holm
translated by Joe Bandel

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Then and Now

Like a torn out tendril
I fell captive to the power of your storm,
Giving way like a weak plank
Under the waves of your passion.

But now I tower, an oak,
On which your storm breaks powerless,
And, like a rocky cliff, I do not yield
To the force of your waves.

-Mia Holm 1990
translated by Joe Bandel

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