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This poem is taken from PN Review 228, Volume 42 Number 4, March - April 2016.

Bohemia Lies by the Sea (trans. Frank Beck)

(Böhmen liegt am Meer)
Ingeborg Bachmann
translated from the German by Frank Beck

Even if houses here are green, I'll step inside one.
If the bridges are well built, I'll walk on solid ground.
If, in every age, love's labor must be lost, I'll gladly lose it here.

If it's not me, it's another who is just as good as me.

If a word borders on me here, I'll let it border.
If Bohemia still lies by the sea, I'll believe in the sea again.
And, still believing in the sea, I can hope for land.
...


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