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This poem is taken from PN Review 238, Volume 44 Number 2, November - December 2017.

Europe James Womack
after the German of Marie Luise Kaschnitz

When at the turn of the year over the beaten down continent,
the homeland of turmoil, of brotherly hatred, of insurgency, of sin,
the homeland of bold thoughts, of burning words, of beauty,
when at the turn of the year the bells ring out, bells that have come home,
have been heaved to the top of failing towers
the great bells –
when the high foehn-driven water roars to fill the space under bridges,
when the trains pipe up and the ships sound their bustling sirens,
when the unknown voice calls Happy New Year up to the silent window,

then a heart will bow to its beloved, will whisper almost silently
Love me for ever, for all the days to come,
and will be snatched away by the bell-wind, storm-wind,
over the boundaries of itself, high over the city,
over the silent countries,

and will hear prayers and many prophecies, which arise
and call out the day when peace will be plenty,
...


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