Christine Busta

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Christine Busta's tomb in the Ottakringer Friedhof

Christine Busta , married Christine Dimt , (born April 23, 1915 in Vienna ; † December 3, 1987 ibid) was an Austrian poet .



Christine Busta was born in 1915 as an illegitimate child of Magdalena Busta in Turnergasse in Vienna- Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus. After her mother became unemployed in 1929, the girl experienced a tough struggle for existence at an early age. The daughter provided for the family's financial livelihood through tutoring.

In 1932 she read in the Vienna women's club. This was followed by a radio reading ( RAVAG ) in 1933 , which she held under the pseudonym Christl Batus.

School, study

In 1933 Busta graduated from the Realgymnasium of the Daughters of the Divine Savior . She then began studying English and German at the University of Vienna . Health and financial difficulties forced her to drop out of her studies in 1937.

In 1938 Christine Busta became an assistant teacher at the Vienna Commercial Academy .


In 1940 she married the musician Maximilian Dimt, who had to enter in 1942 and has been missing in Russia since 1944.

post war period

After the end of the war she worked as an interpreter and manager of a hotel for English crew members.

Christine Busta, who was already active as a poet before the Second World War, was able to publish poems for the first time in 1946 in the weekly newspaper Die Furche , including “An denmerz”. In 1947 she won the same newspaper's literary competition for “Das Fischwunder”, which opened up more opportunities for her to come out with her poems in public. In the following years she published in Plan , in the anthologies Tür an Tür and Die Sammlung, and she did some readings for Austrian radio .

From 1950 she found her professional home as a librarian at Wiener Städtische Libraries . In the same year her first volume of poetry appeared year after year . Christine Busta was now established as a poet and published almost regularly volumes of poetry, v. a. at Otto Müller Verlag . The author is still known and loved because of her children's books Die Sternenmühle and Die Zauberin Frau Zappelzeh . In 1966 Busta was awarded the title of professor, but she worked for another ten years as the head of the main library.


She died on December 3, 1987 in Vienna and was buried in an honorary grave in the Ottakringer Friedhof (group 3 A, row 4, number 39).

Artistic creation

The two most prominent characteristics of Christine Busta's poetry may illustrate two quotations that others have added to their poetry volumes with comments.

Franz Peter Künzel : “The central word for life and work was her love. The ultimate love. Few poets have presented it with such a wealth of facets and embellished it with such a wealth of metaphors as the author of the following pages. "( Der Himmel im Kastanienbaum , p. 35)

Ignaz Zangerle : “She is moved by the sacredness that is inherent in existence as such. [...] Christine Busta remains bent down in a motherly manner, feels child-friendly into the world of children, mothers and little people, into the world of animals, plants and stones, clouds, winds and water. "( Der Regenbaum , p. 134)

It places itself in the long tradition of Christian tradition, unceasingly confesses to it, draws themes and images from the Gospel . There she finds the one who knows the sufferings of all those beaten because he has borne them himself: Christ, the crucified. In her prayers, of which her complete work contains quite a few, she calls on God, whom she experiences as a gracious protector and comforter, but also as an inexorable judge and strict legislator, as mysterious and obscure.

In addition, she empathizes with the “pagan” world of Greek myths and writes poems about Orpheus , Odysseus , Elektra and Antigone . In a letter to her publisher it says: "[...] for the sake of the truth I have to confess that I not only want to be a real Christian, but always remain a pious pagan with part of my being [...]" ( Der Regenbaum , P. 134) Which poets have you particularly influenced? Characters from Shakespeare's dramas can be found in her poems, for example Cordelia from King Lear . In a poem shortly before her death, she confesses to Rainer Maria Rilke . The poem “Over an Atlas” ( The Breath of the Word , p. 50), in which she u. a. and Georg Trakl mentioned.

If you look at the development of her lyrical style chronologically, you will discover a continuous change from melodic tone, rhyme and meter to freer, more aphoristic forms. Nevertheless, all of the themes of her work are already included in the volume Der Regenbaum , as are many of the recurring images that run through her entire work: bees, snow, poppies, trees, the little dogs, the bread, the stars, the sunflower and much more other.

During her lifetime, critics accused her of speaking for an "ideal world". This judgment can only be made by those who only know their work very superficially. Instead of laboriously refuting it, it is better to refer to a poem from the volume Der Himmel im Kastanienbaum , in which she replies to it herself (“Explanation against a misunderstanding”, p. 19).

Awards and honors



  • Year after year , 1950
  • The rain tree , 1951
  • Lamp and Dolphin , 1955
  • The Birds Barn , 1958
  • The other sheep , 1959
  • Phases (which had nothing left)
  • Heading to Older Fires , 1965
  • Biblical childhood (Back then you came to me a lot)
  • Salt marshes , 1975
  • If you paint the crest of love , 1981
  • In the midst of all transience , 1985
  • The sky in the chestnut tree , 1989 (posthumously edited by Franz Peter Künzel)
  • The Breath of the Word , 1995 (posthumously edited by Anton Gruber)
  • The language of the night is monosyllabic (selected poems with CD), 2000 (posthumously edited by Anton Gruber)
  • Pleasing balance of dialect poems (book with CD read by Christine Nöstlinger ), 2013 (posthumously edited by Christine Tavernier)

Children's books

  • The star mill , 1959
  • The sorceress Mrs. Zappelzeh , 1979


  • Bethlehemian Legend , 1954
  • The Rain Angel (Legends), 1988

Continued impact in public space

The local ventilation shaft is hidden behind the Busta column in Klieberpark in Vienna- Margareten . The concrete shaft transformed into a bright red monument sees itself as a “bookmark” of the poet and children's book author. The vertical lines on the memorial read “You pour yourself lavishly on paper / Those who write in stones / are sparing with letters”. The text “Script and Postscript” from the poet's estate is an example of her laconic style.

The Christine-Busta-Hof in Vienna's Wichtelgasse 3–5 is a complex from 1984–1985. On the plaque on the facade are the words: "Many have forgotten hope - out of convenience: those who hope must also do something!"

The Christine-Busta-Park is a child-friendly “ Beserlpark ” in the center of Meidling . The popular name of the park is Füchselhofpark.

The Christine-Busta-Weg in the Hartberg area (Styria) is the only street named after the poet .

Settings (selection)

In addition to Richard Dünser , Reinhold Kletzander and Erna Woll , Horst Ebenhöh and Gottfried von Eine in particular set poems by Busta to music.

Horst Ebenhöh

  • Miserere . Songs for medium voice and piano, op. 38, 1. Based on poems by Christine Busta and Christine Lavant .
  • Six songs for soprano and piano , op. 11. Based on poems by Christine Busta.

Gottfried von One

  • Carmina Gerusena . Eight songs for voice and piano, op. 65. Based on poems by Christine Busta and Friederike Mayröcker .
  • Good advice . Cantata for mixed choir a cappella, medium voice and guitar, op.67.
  • In the midst of all transience . Twelve songs based on poems by Christine Busta for voice and piano, op.77.
  • On the way . Cycle for mixed choir. Texts by Christine Busta, op.82.
  • Votive songs . For female choir a cappella based on poems by Christine Busta, op. 93.


  • Christine Busta (1915-1987). Exhibition for the 75th birthday. 3rd-27th April 1990, Austrian National Library, foyer of the main reading room. Vienna 1990.
  • Yon-Suk Chae: Investigation of Christine Busta's poetry (microfiche edition, StUB, Frankfurt am Main 1994. 3 microfiches 24 ×). Vienna 1991, OCLC 612482443 (Dissertation University of Vienna 1991, 169 pages).
  • Hilde Domin (ed.): Double interpretations. The contemporary poem between author and reader. 2nd edition,: Athenäum, Frankfurt am Main / Bonn 1966. pp. 113–119 (interpretation of Busta's poem “In der Morgendämmerung”).
  • Michael Hansel (Ed.): Christine Busta. Texts and materials. Special number, Vienna 2008, ISBN 978-3-85449-291-7 .
  • Ilona Hatzenbichler: Motives and themes in Christine Busta's poetry (4 microfiches 21 ×), Graz 1979, OCLC 611882192 (dissertation University of Graz 1979, 211 pages).
  • Petra Renn: Christine Busta. To develop the poetic way of speaking and understanding poetry. Vienna: Univ. Dipl.-Arb. 2002.
  • Helga Elisabeth Türtscher: Longing for Mercy. Life story and theological thinking of Christine Busta. Innsbruck: Univ. Dipl.-Arb. 2003.
  • Wolfgang Wiesmüller: Christine Busta. In: Critical lexicon for contemporary German literature. Edited by Heinz Ludwig Arnold . 74. Subsequent delivery. Munich: text + kritik 2003.
  • That. (1989): The poem as a sermon. Production and reception aesthetic aspects of biblical motifs in poems by Christine Busta. In: Sprachkunst 20. 2. Halbbd. Pp. 199-226.
  • That. (1991): Christine Busta in correspondence with Ludwig Ficker. With a directory of Busta's poem manuscripts in the “Brenner Archive”. In: Messages from the Brenner Archive 10. pp. 39–71.
  • Verena Zankl: Christine Busta and Johannes Urzidil . Correspondence 1957 to 1970. Critical text and commentary. Innsbruck, 2013 in ÖNB main department Heldenplatz (dissertation, University of Innsbruck 2013, 443 pages),

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Archive link ( Memento of the original from October 21, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. From the ventilation duct to the "bookmark". In: September 10, 2006, accessed December 6, 2017 .
  5. Umgebung.html
  7. therein seven texts by Christine Busta
  8. University and State Library of Tyrol - Main Library