Monday, 12 July 2010

georg trakl


At nightfall they carried the stranger
Into the room of the dead;
An odour of tar; the red plane tree’s soft rustling;
Dark flight of jackdaws, the guard marched
on the square.
The sun has sunk in black linen; forever
this bygone evening returns.
In the next room the sister is playing a Schubert sonata.
So softly sinks her smile into the ruined fountain,
Which rustles bluish in the twilight. Oh, how ancient
our lineage.
Someone whispers below in the garden; someone has
left this black heaven.
Aroma of apples on top of the cupboard. Grandmother
is lighting the golden candles.

Oh, how mild is autumn. Softly our footsteps ring out
in the old park
Beneath tall trees. Oh, how sober is the hyancinthine
face of twilight.
The blue spring at your feet, mysterious your mouth’s
red stillness
Made sombre by the leaves slumber, the dark gold
of decayed sunflowers.
Your lids are heavy with poppy and dream siftly
against my brow.
Gentle bells quiver in the breast. A blue cloud
Your face sunk over me in the twilight.
A song for guitar rings out from an unknown tavern,
The wild elder bushes there, a long bygone
November day,
Familiar steps on the dusking stairway, the sight of beams
turned brown,
An open window, at which a sweet hope lingered –
Unspeakable it all is, Oh God one falls to one’s knees

Oh how dark is this night. A crimson flame
Died at my mouth. In the stillness
The anxious soul’s lonely music fades to perish.
Enough, when drunk with wine the head sinks down
into the gutter.

trans Will Stone


Roxana said...

you know that i am desperately in love with him and i never tire of his poems, i read them with the same awe every time, as the first time i discovered him -

swiss said...

he's relatively new to me - might i have gotten back into him via your blog? i don't mind this translation but, even in my random german, it sounds much better in the original

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