in the last hour, the leaf
This floated to the top via Arnon Grunberg’s blog. I’d not heard of Ingeborg Bachmann before.
Nach dieser Sintflut möchte ich die Taube, und nichts als die Taube, noch einmal gerettet sehn. Ich ginge ja unter in diesem Meer! flög' sie nicht aus, brächte sie nicht in letzter Stunde das Blatt.
— Ingeborg Bachmann
My German is nowhere near good enough to make my own translation into English from scratch but I know Dutch, which is similar enough to the rhythm of the German language, to be unhappy with the translation by Johannes Beilharz and to maybe hack together a better version of my own.
After this deluge I would like to see the dove, and nothing but the dove, saved. Yes I would go under in this sea! if you did not fly out, if you did not bring in the last hour, the leaf
Such a beautiful final line as ‘in the last hour, the leaf.’ But is 'final' more accurate than 'last'? Is it fair to translate 'Ich ginge ja unter in diesem Meer!' as “I would go under in this sea?'
This is the original translation :
After this deluge I wish to see the dove saved, nothing but the dove. I would drown in this sea! if it did not fly away, if it did not return with the leaf in the final hour.