It is time in this series of translations to bring into English another side of Christine Busta. This poem Fragmente der Herkunft, is a poem in which she recalls her humble origins.
FRAGMENTS OF ORIGIN
My grandmother couldn't read or write
but she could sing lullabies
and tell stories to her nine children.
She laboured with pride between the urns
and the crowns of the poppies. Fog clad
she brought the crop in.
My mother was beautiful and vulnerable,
as a schoolgirl and a maid she was quick to learn.
She burned-up and went out like a poppy
in the meagre wistful land of her childhood
and became as bitter as the juniper.
From the silent forest my grandfather
brought granite, the firstborn stone.
I broke with the noisy city*,
silence, the firstborn word.
My father is a silhouette:
blacksmith, metalworker, assiduous, mannish.
Fled from wedlock for the solitary life.
Last heard-of living in a hunting lodge.
His son, his half-sister's secret,
was for the inheritance first recorded.
*Busta suffered a nervous breakdown and broke with Vienna University after less than a year. The line probably recalls that experience.