Tuesday, 3 November 2009

else lasker-schuler

Ein alter Tibetteppich

Deine Seele, die die meine liebet,
Ist verwirkt mit ihr im Teppichtibet.

Strahl in Strahl, verliebte Farben,
Sterne, die sich himmellang umwarben.

Unsere Füße ruhen auf der Kostbarkeit,

Süßer Lamasohn auf Moschuspflanzenthron,
Wie lange küßt dein Mund den meinen wohl
Und Wang die Wange buntgeknüpfte Zeiten schon?

An old Tibetan rug

Your soul, which loveth mine,
Is woven with it into a rug-Tibet.

Strand by strand, enamoured colours,
Stars that courted each other across the length of heavens.

Our feet rest on the treasure

Sweet lama-son on your musk-plant-throne
How long has your mouth been kissing mine,
And cheek to cheek colorfully woven times?

trans unknown

thanls to roxana for raising else lasker-schuler on the poetic radar. but really more for maschentausendabertausendweit which must surely be my new favourite german word


Anonymous said...

I really like the poem, and I haven't come across the poet before, so thanks on both counts. The Tibetan plateau does look like a carpet, especially the permafrost areas, different greens and ochres.

Roxana said...


while i like "Stitches-thousands-and-thousands-across", "rug-Tibet" sounds awful, while in german it's such a skillful creation, both the t and i repetitions and the p/b succession work wonders...

Niamh B said...

fairly beautiful alright

swiss said...

it is lovely, but a shocker of a translation right enough. Here's this one (tho i don;t know who the translator is)

Your soul, that loves my own
Is entwined with it as in a Tibetan carpet
Light into light, love-drunk colours
Stars reeling across the heavens.
Knitted thousand upon thousand times
Sweet Lama’s Son of the muskflower throne
How long has your mouth been pressed to mine
While cheek to cheek the brightly knotted hours shone.

swiss said...

not much of her available in english for some reason but a few can be found here


and here


Niamh B said...

I like this one even more. Lovely

Titus said...

Also new to me - thanks swiss and Roxana. Beautiful images.
Preferred second translation, wish I could read German now.

swiss said...

sadly, and much to the chagrin of my german associates, the most german i understand is in the lyrics of rammstein songs....