There was a storm - the ropes have torn the skin of the hands, The anchor-chain screamed devilishly. The wind sang the crude song - and suddenly Sounded a voice: "Man overboard!" And at once: Full speed back! Stop machines! Save quickly and warm him! Put something inside - if a man, If not - rub! I feel sorry, that I am doomed to walk Overland, - that means, I donít have to wait for help - No one will jump in to save me And not announce launching a lifeboat sounding the alarm. But say: "Speed ahead! Following wind! We shall be punctual in the port. As he is a son of a bitch, - Let haul in himself!" And my ship will move from me - And on it, are probably first-class people. That man on the look-out looks only ahead He spits that the man has gone overboard. I see - swimming past, A friendly port is waiting for them - Little interest who falls From the main way oberboard. When I was carried into the sea, there was Wind force nine in new money - For me the life boat is let down by the captain - And I shall feel ground under my feet. They will get hold of me by the clothing, - That means falling in clothed is a plus, - On board the lifebout like on hope I clamb in the death-struggle. Here one can spit from the tank to the stern, Not many knots - one month in Havana, - But I want to the deck to him - To the captain, who gave the earth back to me. Make full speed ahead - what is for us a block of ice! I belong now to you sailors, - Cut me, the son of a bitch, And tear me to pieces. I am on board - the course is like previously, like previously the way - To me outstretched are the hands, the souls, cigarettes, I am convinced: when something happens - The sailors will throw the life-belt to me. It is true, the rolling overcomes them there In the storms on duty cannot take a breather, - But a man overboard Is here not let to be drowned! When a trap is closed empty And on the earth losses are forgotten, The best captain of the world Has let down a trap for me and I shall get out on the shore. I shall undertake a conversation I shall teach some, That a man overboard Is not to let alone.
© Elisabeth Jelinek. Translation, 2018