Poetry       Prose       Letters

Georg Trakl


Human Misery

The clock that strikes five before the sun -
A dark horror grips lonely people,
Bleak trees swish in the evening garden ,
The dead one's countenance stirs at the window.

Perhaps this hour stands still.
Before dull eyes blue images flutter
To the rhythm of ships that rock on the river.
At the wharf a row of nuns blows by.

Pale and blind, girls play in the hazel bush
Like lovers who embrace in sleep.
Perhaps flies sing around a carcass there,
Perhaps also a child weeps in the mother's lap.

Asters sink blue and red from hands,
The youth's mouth slips away alien and wise;
And eyelids flutter softly and confused by fear;
Through fevered blackness a scent of bread blows.

It seems one also hears horrible screaming;
Bones shimmer through crumbling walls.
An evil heart laughs loudly in beautiful rooms;
A dog runs past a dreamer.

An empty coffin gets lost in the darkness.
A room wants to light up palely for the murderer,
Meanwhile lanterns are smashed in the night's storm.
Laurel adorns the noble one's white temple.


© Jim Doss & Werner Schmitt



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