Two Andra Schwarz poems translated from the German by Caroline Wilcox Reul

1

I can’t find them in abandoned pit mines scattered lakes of
limestone & water łužiska jĕzorina villages on the land
seized treasure your voices of coal and rock crushed
as if you’d never been there everything dwindled from sight
we dig and dig below rehabilitated nature above
bonds torn there is nothing that is holding you
to retrace the trail in the pit sand flooded paths
running through our fingers into nowhere: far away

2

This is the end: trailing flocks of birds
siberian ice all around us a lace of white descends
invisible fabric the landscape’s grudging freeze
we retreat to our rooms languid wait
in the dark our pupils slow in the shadows
blinded mirrors bodies and how they vanish
when we reach for them in the morning we are glass

1

Ich kann sie nicht finden in den restlöchern kleinere meere
aus wasser & kalk łužiska jĕzorina liegen dörfer auf grund
enteignete schätze eure stimmen aus kohle & stein gebrochen
als gäbe es euch nicht aus dem blickfeld geschwundene dinge
wir graben noch immer untertage darüber renaturierte flächen
auseinandergerissene seilschaften es gibt nichts, was euch hält
das nachziehen der fährten im grubensand geflutete wege
laufen durch unsere hände ins nirgendwo: weit weg

2

Das ist das ende: letzte vogelschwärme
sibirische kälte legen sich weiße netze um uns herum
dursichtiges gewebe zögerndes erstarren der landschaft
wir ziehen uns zurück in unsere räume träges verharren
im dunkeln die langsamkeit der pupillen im schatten
erblindete spiegel körper und wie sie verschwinden,
wenn wir danach greifen am morgen sind wir aus glass


About the translator:

Caroline Wilcox Reul is the translator of Wer lebt / Who Lives by
German poet Elisabeth Borchers (Tavern Books, 2017). She was awarded the
Summer/Fall 2018 Gabo Prize for Literature in Translation and Multilingual
Texts. Her translations have appeared in the PEN Poetry Series, Lunch
Ticket, The Los Angeles Review, Exchanges, Waxwing, The Michigan Quarterly Review, Tupelo Quarterly
, and others.

Read more translations on our site here.

About the author

Andra Schwarz was born in 1982 in Upper Lusatia in Saxony, Germany and currently lives in Leipzig where she studied creative writing at the Deutsche Literaturinstitut. She won the Open Mike Lyric Prize in 2015 and the Leonce and Lena Prize in 2017. She was awarded a residency at the Literarisches Colloquium Berlin in 2018 and a grant by the Kulturstiftung Sachsen in 2019. She is the author of Am morgen sind wir aus glas (Leipzig: Poetladen, 2017). Her work has also appeared in Maulkorb, Ostragehege, L – der Literaturbote, Jahrbuch der Lyrik, and others.

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