Roland Dürre
Monday February 27th, 2017

A Manifesto for PEACE!

It is always rewarding to tune in to Bayern2. This time, it was the “Culture Journal” that found my heart.

Ingeborg Bachmann: Graffito by Jef Aérosol at the Klagenfurt Musilhaus

Yesterday’s program had literature and poetry after the war as its topic. The last interview was with the publicist Peter Hamm. It made a huge impression on me. You can listen to the entire program as a podcast  (Kulturjournal of February, 26th,  2017).

Peter Hamm related in a very intense way how, early in the 1950s, he suffered because of the re-armament. To put it bluntly, he said that “the re-armament meant the end of his relation with the new nation”. At the time, he had read works by authors such as Ingeborg Bachmann and Nelly Sachss. And that is how they found the “manifesto of his generation”, the poem “Alle Tage” by Ingeborg Bachmann.

And that was when my brains said “click”. Because this poem was also the manifesto of our youth. It is a cry for help by Ingeborg Bachmann that is more modern than ever before!

 

 

Each Day
War is no longer declared,
it just continues. The unspeakable
has become normal.The hero
remains aloof from the fights. The weak ones
are now under fire.
Patience is the uniform of the day,
your decoration is a pitiful star
of hope above the heart.

It will come in last
if nothing more happens,
after the barrage has ended,
when the enemy has become invisible
and the shadow of never-ending armament
spreads to the horizon.

It will be awarded
for fleeing and deserting,
for bravery before your friend,
for treason through telling unworthy secrets
and for not following

any orders.

Ingeborg Bachmann

(1952)

 

When I read it, my only emotion was sadness. And especially the last six lines say exactly what I crave!    
It would make me truly happy if “Alle Tage“ were also to become the manifesto of the young generation!

RMD
(Translated by Evelyn)

P.S.
On this lyrikline page, you will also find an audio version of “Alle Tage”.
I took the image and signature of Ingeborg Bachmann from the German Wikipedia page.

For more information on the poem, see:
© Piper Verlag GmbH, München 1978
Aus: Die gestundete Zeit. 1953.
Heute in: Werke Band 1
München: Piper, 1978
ISBN: 3-492-11700-7
The audio production lyrikline is by the Norddeutscher Rundfunk (1952). It, too, impressed me very much.

1 Kommentar zu “A Manifesto for PEACE!”

  1. rd (Wednesday March 8th, 2017)

    Ich finde Evelyns Übersetzung des Gedichtes von Ingeborg Bachmann in der englischen Version ganz große Klasse!

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