Easter Sunday - Ingeborg Bachmann

Easter Sunday: Old Classic Easter Poetry

Ingeborg Bachmann was born in Klagenfurt, in the Austrian state of Carinthia, the daughter of Olga (née Haas) and Matthias Bachmann, a schoolteacher. Her father was an early member of the Austrian National Socialist Party. She had a sister, Isolde, and a brother, Heinz.

She studied philosophy, psychology, German philology, and law at the universities of Innsbruck, Graz, and Vienna. In 1949, she received her doctor of philosophy from the University of Vienna with her dissertation titled “The Critical Reception of the Existential Philosophy of Martin Heidegger”; her thesis adviser was Victor Kraft.

After graduating, Bachmann worked as a scriptwriter and editor at the Allied radio station Rot-Weiss-Rot, a job that enabled her to obtain an overview of contemporary literature and also supplied her with a decent income, making possible proper literary work. Furthermore, her first radio dramas were published by the station. Her literary career was enhanced by contact with Hans Weigel (littérateur and sponsor of young post-war literature) and the literary circle known as Gruppe 47, whose members also included Ilse Aichinger, Paul Celan, Heinrich Böll, Marcel Reich-Ranicki and Günter Grass. She won the Prize of Group 47 in 1953 for her poetry collection Die gestundete Zeit.

Easter Sunday: Ingeborg Bachmann

Last Easter Jim put on his blue
Frock cwoat, the vu’st time-vier new;
Wi’ yollow buttons all o’ brass,
That glitter’d in the sun lik’ glass;
An’ pok’d ‘ithin the button-hole
A tutty he’d a-begg’d or stole.

A span-new wes-co’t, too, he wore,
Wi’ yellow stripes all down avore;
An’ tied his breeches’ lags below
The knee, wi’ ribbon in a bow;
An’ drow’d his kitty-boots azide,
An’ put his laggens on, an’ tied
His shoes wi’ strings two vingers wide,
Because ‘twer Easter Sunday.

An’ after mornen church wer out
He come back hwome, an’ stroll’d about
All down the vields, an’ drough the leane,
Wi’ sister Kit an’ cousin Jeane,
A-turnen proudly to their view
His yollow breast an’ back o’ blue.

The lambs did play, the grounds wer green,
The trees did bud, the Sun did sheen;
The lark did zing below the sky,
An’ roads wer all a-blown so dry,
As if the summer wer begun;
An’ he had sich a bit o’ fun!
He meade the maidens squeal an’ run,
Because ‘twer Easter Sunday.

∼ ‘Easter Sunday’ poem by Ingeborg Bachmann

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