Poetry       Prose       Letters

Georg Trakl


In the Village


From brown walls a village, a field emerges.
A shepherd molders on an old stone.
The edge of the forest surrounds blue animals,
The soft leaves falling in the stillness.

The peasants' brown foreheads. The evening bell
Sounds long; beautiful is devout custom,
Black head of the Savior in the thornbush,
The cool room reconciled by death.

How pale are the mothers. The blueness sinks
On glass and chest, which proudly preserve their significance;
Also a white head bends highly aged
Over the grandchild who drinks milk and stars.


The poor one, who died lonely in spirit,
Rises waxen over an old path.
The apple trees sink bleak and calm
Into the colors of their fruit, which spoiled blackly.

The roof of dried straw still arches
Over the sleep of cows. The blind maid
Appears in the yard; a blue water laments;
A horse's skull stares from the rotten gate.

With dark mind, the idiot speaks a word
Of love, which fades away in the black bush
Where the other stands as a slender dream-figure.
The evening sounds forth in moister blue.


At the window branches knock stripped bare by the foehn.
A wild pain grows in the womb of the peasant woman.
Black snow trickles through her arms;
Golden-eyed owls flutter around her head.

The walls stare bleak and soiled gray
In the cool darkness. In the fever-bed
The pregnant belly freezes, insolently watched by the moon.
In front of her chamber a dog has died.

Darkly, three men step through the gate
With scythes broken in the field.
Through the window the red evening wind rattles;
From it a black angel steps out.


© Jim Doss & Werner Schmitt



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