Georg Trakl: The West

Image

Marcus Larson (1825-1864). ‘Moonlight Over Sognefjord’, 1862.

Here is my translation of the first section of a three-part poem by Georg Trakl entitled ‘The West’. Trakl’s original German text follows.

The West

In Honor of Else Lasker-Schüler

1

Moon, as if one dead
From blue cavern emerged,
And many blossoms fall
On the rocky path.
Someone sick weeps silver
At the evening pond,
In a black skiff
Lovers transited in death.

Or Elis’ steps ring out
Through the grove
Hyacinthine,
Fading again under oaks.
O, the figure of the boy
Made of crystal tears,
Night shadows.
Jagged lightning illumines his temples,
Eternally cool,
When on greening hill
Spring thunder resounds.

Abendland

Else Lasker-Schüler in Verehrung

1

Mond, als träte ein Totes
Aus blauer Höhle,
Und es fallen der Bluten
Viele über den Felsenpfad.
Silbern weint ein Krankes
Am Abendweiher,
Auf schwarzem Kahn
Hinüberstarben Liebende.

Oder es läuten die Schritte
Elis’ durch den Hain
Den hyazinthenen
Wieder verhallend unter Eichen.
O des Knaben Gestalt
Geformt aus kristallenen Tränen,
Nächtigen Schatten.
Zackige Blitze erhellen die Schläfe
Die immerkühle,
Wenn am grünenden Hügel
Frühlingsgewitter ertönt.

 

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