To the Silenced: An die Verstummten (ARC Publications Translation series)
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Although the Austrian poet Georg Trakl was born over a century ago, the mesmerising imagery and haunting visions of his highly sensitive and morbidly intro-spective poems are as powerful today as they were when he wrote them. A source of inspiration for artists, musicians and writers throughout the Expressionist period and beyond, Trakl's poetry - bleak, yet revealing tenderness and hope, nightmarish yet eerily beautiful - can be savoured to the full in Will Stone's new translation of a representative selection of Trakl's finest work (complete with introductory essays and commentary), a volume which promises to rekindle interest in the work of this seminal poet.
Decayed in the thorn bush. A shadow I am far from darkened villages. God’s silence I drank from the spring in the grove. Onto my brow cold metal steps. Spiders seek my heart. There is a light that dies in my mouth. At night I found myself upon a heath, Thick with filth and stardust. In the hazel copse Crystal angels have chimed again. TROMPETEN (TRUMPETS) Unter verschnittenen Weiden, wo braune Kinder spielen Und Blätter treiben, tönen Trompeten. Ein Kirchhofschauer. Fahnen von
des Nußbaums der Geist des Bösen erschien. Tasten über die grünen Stufen des Sommers. O wie leise Verlief der Garten in der braunen Stille des Herbstes Duft und Schwermut des alten Holunders, Da in Sebastians Schatten die Silberstimme des Engels erstarb. SEBASTIAN IN DREAM (SEBASTIAN IM TRAUM) For Adolf Loos Mother carried the child in the white moon, In the nut tree’s shadow, the ancient elder. Drunk on poppy sap, the lament of the thrush; And calmly In sympathy a bearded face bowed
drains from the throat of the sound maker Blue flower; oh the fiery tears Wept into night. Golden cloud and time. In a lonely room You request a visit from the dead one often, You stroll beneath elms down the green river enveloped in warm conversation. GEBURT (BIRTH) Gebirge: Schwärze, Schweigen und Schnee. Rot vom Wald niedersteigt die Jagd; O, die moosigen Blicke des Wilds. Stille der Mutter; unter schwarzen Tannen Öffnen sich die schlafenden Hände, Wenn verfallen der kalte Mond
im blauen Kahn. Langsam reift die Traube, das Korn. Wenn sich stille der Tag neigt, Ist ein Gutes und Böses bereitet. Wenn es Nacht wird, Hebt der Wanderer leise die schweren Lider; Sonne aus finsterer Schlucht bricht. THE SUN (DIE SONNE) Daily the sun comes over the hill. Beautiful is the forest, the dark beast, Man, hunter or shepherd. Ruddy rises the fish in the green pond. Beneath rounded skies The fisherman moves softly in a blue boat. Slowly ripens the grape, the corn. As day
one who takes pleasure from the pearl thinks of the oyster’s sickness. Yet those who crave understanding demand genesis and circumstances and there is no limit to their questioning. This poignant statement looks forward to the futile search for meaning in Trakl’s poetry by scholars ensnared by their own agendas. There is no doubt that the nature of Trakl’s poetry was heavily influenced by his mental disease. Jaspers again points eerily to Trakl when he goes on to say: ‘One observes how