[from Ingeborg Bachmann's Darkness Spoken: The Collected Poems, tr. Peter Filkins, Zephyr, 2006]
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 disintegrate, 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