For Ingeborg Bachmann Day


There is a strong case to be made for replacing our ancient calendar with one that consists simply of days. For, really, who needs weeks and months? Only business owners, and landlords, and upholders of traditional order require these relics, these religious/superstitious entities. Indeed, all we really need to mark our orbit around the sun are days — 365 days — and years. This, of course, leads to the problem of which day would be first. Would the year begin in the fall, like the Jewish calendar? Or in the spring, like the Chinese one? Or in winter?

At any event, if I had any say in the matter months and weeks would be consigned to the ash heap of history. And instead of today’s date, Tuesday, June 25, 2019, there would simply be two numbers (one for the day and one for the year). Or, better yet, akin to the French Revolutionary calendar (in which each day honored a particular plant, or thing), each day would honor a person, or several people. And who better to honor today than the 20th century Austrian writer Ingeborg Bachmann (1926-1973).

So, rather than Tuesday, June 25, 2019, today would simply be Ingeborg Bachmann Day (in a year that has yet to be established).

As such, I thought it would be appropriate to celebrate this day by sharing her poem Alle Tage/Every Day:

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Elliot Sperber is a writer, attorney, and adjunct professor. He lives in New York City and can be reached at and on twitter @elliot_sperber.