Thursday 31 August 2017

Georg Trakl: 'De Profundis' in English translation

De profundis

It is a stubble-field where black rain falls.
It is a dark-brown tree that stands alone.
It is a soughing wind that swirls round empty huts –
How dismal this evening.

Passing the hamlet
The gentle orphan girl still gathers scanty ears of corn.
Round and golden her eyes feast on the gathering dusk,
Her lap yearning for the heavenly bridegroom.

On their way home
The shepherds found the darling body
Rotting in the briers.

I am a shadow far from desolate villages.
God’s silence
I drank from the springs of the grove.

Cold metal meets my temples.
Spiders seek out my heart.
There is a light that guts in my mouth.

At night I found myself on a heath,
Stiffening with dirt and dust from the stars.
In the thicket of hazels
Crystal angels once more sounded.

Thursday 24 August 2017

Monday 14 August 2017

A poem by Johannes Immerzeel (1776-1841)

Grafschrift van een filosoof

Naakt was ik, toen ik werd geboren;
Naakt lig ik onder dezen steen;
‘k Heb, sedert ik op aard verscheen,
Dus niets gewonnen of verloren.

Is ’t wonder, dat de mensch in ’t leven
Het beste spoor zoo moeilijk vindt?
Twee gidsen, die hem voort doen streven,
En beurtlings wenk en spoorslag geven,
Fortuin en Min zijn beiden blind.

A philosopher’s epitaph

Quite naked I arrived here at my birth;
Quite naked I lie too beneath this stone;
No gain or loss I thus have ever known
Since I made my appearance on this earth.

So is it any wonder that a man
Should maybe find the best path hard to find?
Two guides that fuel his search to find a plan,
And wave and point in turns is all they can,
Fortune and Love are both completely blind.

Friday 11 August 2017

Thursday 10 August 2017

Saturday 5 August 2017