Sunday, May 15, 2011

Darkness Spoken... by Ingeborg Bachmann

Darkness Spoken: Collected Poems of Ingeborg BachmannDarkness Spoken: Collected Poems of Ingeborg Bachmann by Ingeborg Bachmann

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First off, you should know that I'm not a poetry enthusiast. I appreciate poetry on a fairly superficial level. If I had a more sophisticated taste for poetry, I might be able to review more authoritatively on this collection.

That said, I enjoyed these poems for the most part. I can't claim to have truly understood some of them, but I enjoyed reading them just the same. Bachmann seems to write a lot about death, war, struggle, sorrow, and love lost. She also uses natural imagery a lot, which I found very pleasing.

Her poems on war, captivity, struggle, sorrow, etc. take on a whole new meaning when you remember that she was writing from behind the Berlin wall. One section of poetry makes me think she must have been hospitalized or something for a time, since her focus is on illness, nurses, drugs, etc. I think it would be interesting to learn a little more about her life.

A lot of these poems were very thought provoking, on their own and as a group. If you like poetry at all, I'd recommend giving this a look over.

As a side note, I'd also like to say that I LOVED that this book included the original German text next to each English translation.

Spoken to the Evening

My doubts, bitter and unappeased,
drain away in the evening's depths.
Weariness sings inside my ear.
I listen...
That's the way it was yesterday!
It's happening all over again!

I know the paths of sleep that lead to the sweetest field.
I never want to go there.
Yet I don't know where, for me, the dark lake
of torment will end.
A mirror shall lie there,
thick and clear,
and will show us,
sparkling with pain,
the underlying reasons.

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