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

  • Rajnish Manga (1/17/2018 11:34:00 AM)

    The third part of the poem is a caustic commentary about what is wrong with the system during war. It also shows the suffering of the common people. Con-men protect them somehow. Thanks.
    The hero.... stays away from battle.
    ....The weak.... have gone to the front.
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  • Anil Kumar Panda (1/17/2018 9:55:00 AM)

    It is going on since long, one way or other. So long as there will be hunger and discrimination it will continue. A nice poem indeed. (Report) Reply

  • Glen Kappy (1/17/2018 7:12:00 AM)

    How contemporary this sounds! If I read her right, she lays out—especially in the last stanza—what true patriotism or loyalty to one’s country is when the masters and beneficiaries of war lure the misguided and/or uninformed to fight their battles and lubricate the machinery of perpetual war. -GK (Report) Reply

  • (1/17/2018 2:39:00 AM)

    The reality is spelt out here as war is still going on and will go on in some parts of the world without being declared and medals will be awarded for the bravery in the face of friends and for the betrayal of unworthy secrets.............very well composed........thanks for sharing (Report) Reply

  • Sylvia Frances Chan (1/17/2018 2:25:00 AM)

    As the title says: EVERY DAY....It was an every day's thought, once been exceptional thoughts, here they have been ingrained in the mind and all the exceptional memories become just as EVERY DAY. But anyhow, she could not bring up anymore that enthousiastic gesture to create a true mesmerized poetry of that hectic time. She regarded all those excited happenings as an EVERY DAY on-going monotone....This sharing is most appreciated, then we still have feedback of that certain period/time. (Report) Reply

  • Robert Murray Smith (1/17/2018 12:23:00 AM)

    An interesting poem but not outstanding. (Report) Reply

  • 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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