Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Introducing Daniele Pantano (as translator): Georg Trakl

Georg Trakl (1887-1914) is commonly seen as the most prominent figure of Austro-German literary Expressionism.


In red leaves full of guitars
The yellow tresses of girls flutter
By the fence where sunflowers grow.
A golden tumbrel wheels through the clouds.

The elders in a peace of brown shade
Become silent and hug each other like fools.
Orphans sing sweetly at vespers.
Flies buzz in yellow palls.

At the stream the women still wash.
Hanging linens sail.
The girlchild I long fell for
Comes again through the evening gray.

Sparrows plunge from balmy skies
Into green voids filled with rot.
A bread smell and pungent spice
Cheats the hungry one of recovery.

Translated from the German by Daniele Pantano


Beneath mutilated willows, where brown children play
And leaves drift, trumpets blare. A graveyard shudder.
Scarlet banners plunge through the maple’s grief
Horsemen along fields of rye, empty mills.

Or shepherds sing at night and stags enter
Into the circle of their fires, the grove’s ancient sorrow,
Dancers rise from a black wall;
Scarlet banners, laughter, madness, trumpets.

Translated from the German by Daniele Pantano