Hirundo daurica tibetana / Red-Rumped Swallow /  Rötelschwalbe [collected June 10 1935]

who sings with a stone i never i never i heard it in the thick of my belly ein lied with stonebody mit steinigem körper it hit it trifft mich me in the grass it was only just morning violet and warm and the river quiet and flat then burst of songstone warmes violett ett i i i would be nameless i would be namenlos i would be name ame ame less but seen now by his blue eyesong stung by the singer with a violet warm am namenlosen morgen i lie still not arrow bodied not black tipped arrow darker now than the sand in my mouth roter sand he sang the dark into a stone it hit only as darkness the flight a veilchenblau i held a throat full of sand packed full red he sung me heavy down and the grass and the grass and the grass the grass eddies against a violet morning and the river sounds sounds sounds heat in in my throat he hit out a song on my body am steinigen morgen der körper hums the lied the named body y y singt warmes violett am violetten morgen warm in the violet river







In the 1930s, Ernst Schäfer, a German SS officer and zoologist, participated in three natural-history expeditions to Tibet and Sikkim. Despite a hunting prohibition from the Tibetan government, Schäfer and his team killed roughly seven thousand birds over the course of these trips using primarily a homemade slingshot. The majority of the birds, including newly discovered species and subspecies, were then transported back to Germany and housed in the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin. These poems are part of the series “Bird Bodies of Ernst Schäfer.”