For beginnings

(I hope Easter will be full of them)


When someone departs he must throw his hat,
filled with the mussels he spent the summer
gathering, in the sea
and sail off with his hair in the wind,
he must hurl the table,
set for his love, in the sea,
he must pour the wine,
left in his glass, into the sea,
he must give his bread to the fish
and mix a drop of his blood with the sea,
he must drive his knife deep into the waves
and sink his shoes,
heart, anchor and cross,
and sail off with his hair in the wind.
Then he will return.
Do not ask.


Ingeborg Bachmann, Songs from an Island, tr. Mark Anderson

“Wenn einer fortgeht, muss er den Hut
mit den Muscheln, die er sommerüber
gesammelt hat, ins Meer werfen
und fahren mit wehendem Haar,
er muss den Tisch, den er seiner Liebe
deckte, ins Meer stürzen,
er muss den Rest des Weins,
der im Glas blieb, ins Meer schütten,
er muss den Fischen sein Brot geben
und einen Tropfen Blut ins Meer mischen,
er muss sein Messer gut in die Wellen treiben
und seinen Schuh versenken,
Herz, Anker und Kreuz,
und fahren mit wehendem Haar!
Dann wird er wiederkommen.
Frag nicht.”

Ingeborg Bachmann. Lieder von einer Insel.

Edward Weston. Shell and Rocks Arrangement, 1931

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