Ingeborg Bachmann

(1926 - 1973 / Austria)

Every Day - Poem by Ingeborg Bachmann

War is no longer declared,
only continued. The monstrous
has become everyday. The hero
stays away from battle. The weak
have gone to the front.
The uniform of the day is patience,
its medal the pitiful star of hope above the heart.

The medal is awarded
when nothing more happens,
when the artillery falls silent,
when the enemy has grown invisible
and the shadow of eternal armament
covers the sky.

It is awarded
for desertion of the flag,
for bravery in the face of friends,
for the betrayal of unworthy secrets
and the disregard
of every command.

Comments about Every Day by Ingeborg Bachmann

  • Sergio Savioli (5/26/2017 3:27:00 AM)

    Her words project us to the unnamed Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq... the ongoing, lurching, sputtering, endless, senseless, sordid, murky wars creating non-stop, needless suffering. The Assanges, the Snowdens, the Bradleys are the ones who betray unworthy secrets and who should be decorated not the patriotic killers who obey orders. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010

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