Here's the second Poet-in-Residence poem newly translated from Thomas Bernhard's collection Unter dem Eisen des Mondes as part of the ongoing Thomas Bernhard (20th anniversary of his death) tribute. Once again, it must be stressed that these Poet-in-Residence translations aim to capture the spirit and finesse of Bernhard rather than word-for-exact-word.
Bernhard was nothing if not dramatic, nothing if not musical, nothing if not theatrical, nothing if not deep-thinking.
Seeking after the truth we must find the subtle and hidden notes and cogitate at length to find the way to bring them out.
Speak grass, yell my words to the sky;
From wooden stake to wooden stake and over roots
The wind's red and yellow brothers leap.
Hear how the brushwood burns and smoke shoots
Through the moist mouths and gaps,
Hear the cry of the dead in the poisonous stems and tops;
Poisoned are the umbels and the laments.
The sickly mother sits in the tree and cries,
And counts the tears as if in paradise,
A thousand strings are stretched over the wood
From my breast to the face of the sun.
Translated 3rd Feb 2009