Poetry       Prose       Letters

Georg Trakl


Suburb in Foehn

In the evening the site lies deserted and brown,
The air permeated with a horrid stench.
From the bridge arch the thunder of a train -
And sparrows flutter about bush and fence.

Cowering huts, paths scattered in disarray,
In the gardens confusion and movement,
Sometimes howls swell out of airless stirring,
In a group of children a red dress flies.

By the rubbish a rat's choir whistles amorously.
In baskets women carry entrails,
A vile procession full of filth and mange,
They emerge from the twilight.

And a drain suddenly vomits fatty blood
From the slaughterhouse down into the still river.
The foehn tinges meager shrubs more colorfully
And the redness slowly creeps through the flood.

A whispering that drowns in bleary sleep.
Shapes juggle up on the drains,
Perhaps the memory of an earlier life
Which rises and sinks with the warm winds.

From clouds, gleaming avenues dip
Filled with beautiful chariots, bold riders.
Then one also sees a boat foundering on rocks
And sometimes rose-colored mosques.


© Jim Doss & Werner Schmitt



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