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© 2021 Ingeborg Höch, Stuttgart.

© der Übersetzungen: Ruth Ingram, London.

Druckvorlage und Cover-Gestaltung: Mirko Höch, Stuttgart. Cover-Foto: Ingeborg Höch

Herstellung und Verlag: BoD – Books on Demand GmbH, Norderstedt

ISBN 9783753437729

Introduction

This selection of poems is the newest result of 20 years of friendship with Ruth Ingram. Nearly unbelievable it seems to me how all these years have gone by, always in contact with each other, mostly by hand-written letters first, occasional by phone, and without E-mails in those days. I feel that both of us gained a lot from our relations. But most of all I feel great gratitude for Ruth and her unusual sensitive art of translating my poetry since 2001.

A little review: In 2002, after one year of a lively correspondence, we first met in Stuttgart/Germany to discuss Ruth’s first translations of my very first book of poems. Right from the beginning of our common work with two languages we knew that our understanding of poetry and our enthusiasm for poems would harmonise in a very happy way.

Several times we met in London as well as in Germany. We had bilingual readings at the Torriano Meeting House in Camden and at other literary places in London. In 2004 we got the opportunity to read at the Stuttgarter Buchwochen, a small but fine Book Fair in my home town. Of course we also visited each other during the following years. I especially like to remember our walks along the canal in Camden, Ruth always her camera at hand, taking wonderful photographs of water reflections.

The last time we met was in 2019 near Hamburg to celebrate Ruth’s 90th birthday together with her German relatives and friends.

I am happy that we now again succeeded in handing over a mutual publication as exhibit of our long literary teamwork across borders and languages.

Thank you, Ruth!

Ingeborg Santor, June 2021

Through the year

Hier und heute

Heute, als

die Forsythien im Wind

erwachten, gelbe Schleier

in den dünnen Regen woben

zärtlichen Glanz –

heute hab ich

vergessen, dass

die Flüsse kein

Wasser mehr führen

das diesen Namen

verdiente, die Erde

nicht duftet wie

Kindheitserde, die Luft

nicht zum Atmen

geeignet ist

hier und heute

Here and today

Today as

the forsythia awoke

in the wind,

weaving tender shine

of yellow veils

in the thin rain –

today I have

forgotten that

the rivers no longer

carry water

worthy this name,

the earth has

no fragrance like

childhood earth,

the air is no longer

fit to breathe

here and today.

Aprilmorgen

Erdwärts jagt

Aprilwind das Licht

fegt mir ins Haar

seine Kühle.

Da grünt in dem frühen

Buchenlaub endlich

mein Blick, und ich laufe

ins Helle.

April morning

The April wind

pursues the light

earthwards

sweeps coolness

through my hair.

In the early

beech foliage

at last my vision

grows green and

I walk into light.

Frühlingslaune

Lerne gerade, das Wasser

zu kauen, den Wind zu trinken,

breche ab vom Brot der Bäume,

schlürfe Erdgeruch, Grasgeruch,

frühestes Licht – in der Kehle

ein blankes Gelächter.

Spring mood

Just learned to chew the water

to drink the wind,

break bread from the trees,

slurp the smell of earth, of grass,

earliest light – in my throat

a bright laughter.

Hochsommer auf Rügen

Mittag glüht Feldern

die Farben aus, mir

die Gedanken – ich fühle.

Und untauglich weiß ich

die dünne Haut

für die Stunde. Stille

lehnt schattenlos

über dem Land.

High Summer on the isle of Rügen

Midday has burnt out

all colour from the fields

and my thoughts – I feel.

And I know this thin skin

to be useless

for the hour. Stillness

leans shadowless

over the land.

Wolken-Auftritt

Da sie nicht regnen wollen, führen sie

heute ihr bestes Outfit spazieren:

opalene Roben, denen Sonnenstrahlen

von irgendwoher noch Glitzersäume

spendieren.

Nur eine, die gewichtigste, verweigert