Mudlark No. 53 (2014)


Die blaue Seele hat sich stumm verschlossen,
Ins offne Fenster sinkt der braune Wald,
Die Stille dunkler Tiere; im Grunde mahlt
Die Mühle, am Steg ruhn Wolken hingegossen,

Die goldnen Fremdlinge. Ein Zug von Rossen
Sprengt rot ins Dorf. Der Garten braun und kalt.
Die Aster friert, am Zaun so zart gemalt
Der Sonnenblume Gold schon fast zerflossen.

Der Dirnen Stimmen; Tau ist ausgegossen 
Ins harte Gras und Sterne weiß und kalt.
Im teuren Schatten sieh den Tod gemalt,
Voll Tränen jedes Antlitz und verschlossen.


The blue soul’s all to itself saying nothing,
The brown woods fall in the open window,
The stillness of dark beasts; in the valley 
The mill grinds, clouds rest stretched out at a step bridge,

The golden stranger. A line of horses leaps red
Toward the village. The garden brown and cold.
Asters freeze, painted so frail by the fence
The sunflower’s gold has just about run off.

The voices of the young girls; dew is spilling
Into the hard grass and stones white and cold.
In this precious shadow watch death painted,
Every face full of tears and all to itself.

Note: line 9: young girls, although the original, Dirne, is often translated as whore and the like, in Austria the word can mean any young girl, promiscuous or not, but nevertheless capable of being desired, of being sexually active, or simply wanting to have a man or husband in the traditional idiom, so the ambiguity needs to be preserved here; dew is spilling, given the implicit sexuality of this line, this phrase can be read as a sublimated—onanistic orgasm.

James Reidel | In ein altes Stammbuch > In an Old Guest Book
Contents | Mudlark No. 53 (2014)