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March stars.

Still it's too early for sowing. Fields surface in rain, March stars appear. Like an afterthought, the universe submits to familiar equations, such as the light that falls but leaves the snow untouched. Under the snow there will also be dust and, what doesn't melt, the dust's later nourishment. O wind, picking up. Again the plows rip open the darkness. Each new day will want to be longer. It's on long days that we are sown, unasked, in those neat and crooked rows, as stars sink away above. In fields we thrive or rot without a choice, submitting to rain and also, at last, the light.

Ingeborg Bachman was born in 1926 in Klagenfurt, Austria. She studied philosophy at the Universities of Innsbruck, Graz, and Vienna, where she wrote her dissertation on Martin Heidegger. In 1952, she received the poetry prize from Gruppe 47 for her first volume, Borrowed Time (Die gestundete Zeit). She published her second collection, Invocation of the Great Bear, (Anrufung des grossen B8aren), in 1956. Her various awards include the Georg B8suchner Prize, the Berlin Critics Prize, the Bremen Award, and the Austrian State Prize for literature. Writing essays, opera libretti, short stories, and a novel, she divided her time between Munich, Zurich, and Rome, where she died in a fire in her apartment in 1973. Peter Filkins was awarded a Fulbright to Vienna in 1983 to translate Bachmann's poetry. Songs in Flight, his translation of her complete poems, will appear this fall from Marsilio Publishers. His translations, poems, and reviews have appeared in Agni, The New Criterion, Partisan Review, TriQuarterly, and the New York Times Book Review, among other journals. Peter Filkins teaches at Simon's Rock College of Bard in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.
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Author:Bachmann, Ingeborg; Filkins, Peter
Publication:The American Poetry Review
Date:Mar 1, 1994
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