The soul, too, wants to be prepared in silence

Translations © by Bertram Kottmann

Song Cycle by Thomas Schubert (b. 1961)

Word count: 461
Original language: Auch will die Seele stille sich bereiten - Gesänge nach Gedichten von Georg Trakl
1. Sommersneige [sung text checked 1 time]
Der grüne Sommer ist so leise
Geworden, dein kristallenes Antlitz.
Am Abendweiher starben die Blumen,
Ein erschrockener Amselruf.
 
Vergebliche Hoffnung des Lebens.
Schon rüstet Zur Reise sich die Schwalbe im Haus
Und die Sonne versinkt am Hügel;
Schon winkt zur Sternenreise die Nacht.
 
Stille der Dörfer; es tönen rings
Die verlassenen Wälder. Herz,
Neige dich nun liebender
Über die ruhige Schläferin.
 
Der grüne Sommer ist so leise
Geworden und es läutet der Schritt
Des Fremdlings durch die silberne Nacht.
Gedächte ein blaues Wild seines Pfads,
Des Wohllauts seiner geistlichen Jahre!

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Bertram Kottmann) , "Summer's decline", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Déclin de l'été", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
by Georg Trakl (1887 - 1914)
1. Summer's decline
The verdant summer has been growing
so muted, your countenance of crystal.
By the vespertine pond the flowers died,
an alarmed blackbird's call.

In vain is the hope of life. Prepared is
the swallow at home for its journey
and the sun is sinking by the hill;
night beckons to travel to the stars. 

Silence in hamlets. Around resound
the deserted forests. Heart,
bend now with deeper love
over the placidly sleeping girl.

The verdant summer has been growing
so muted, and the stranger's footstep
is ringing through the silvery night.
Would a blue deer think of his pathways,
the concord of his spiritual years!

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2010 by Bertram Kottmann, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

    Bertram Kottmann.  Contact: BKottmann (AT) t-online.de

    If you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2010-06-14
Line count: 17
Word count: 105

Translation © by Bertram Kottmann
2. Kindheit (Fragment) [sung text checked 1 time]
Was leise gehet unter Herbstesbäumen
Am grünen Fluß, darüber Möven gleiten --
Es fällt das Laub; Einfalt dunkeler Zeiten.
's ist Gottes Ruh. Die Abendschatten säumen
Ein schwarzer Vogel singt in Herbstesbäumen.

Ein Händefalten müde und einträchtig
Am Abend folgen ihren Vogelzeichen
Die Augen, ehe sie dem Schlummer weichen --
Erinnerung des Knaben sanft und schmächtig.

Ein schwarzer Vogel singt in Herbstesbäumen
Den Frieden dieser Tage süß und mächtig
Auch will die Seele stille sich bereiten.

Authorship

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Bertram Kottmann) , "Childhood", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Bertram Kottmann , Maria Nimmerfall
by Georg Trakl (1887 - 1914)
2. Childhood
What lightly walketh under trees in autumn
by the green stream, o’er which seagulls are gliding - 
the leaves, they fall; pureness of darker ages. 
’Tis  godly peace. The evening shadows tarry
a black-backed bird sings in the trees of autumn. 

A folding of the hands, peaceful and tired;  
at night the eyes follow their bird sign omens,
ere they subside, give way to tranquil slumber - 
memory of the boy child, soft and slender.

A black-backed bird sings in the trees of autumn
the peace of these old days, so sweet and potent,
the soul, too, wants to be prepared in silence.

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2016 by Bertram Kottmann, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

    Bertram Kottmann.  Contact: BKottmann (AT) t-online.de

    If you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2016-06-07
Line count: 12
Word count: 103

Translation © by Bertram Kottmann
3. Verklärter Herbst [sung text checked 1 time]
Gewaltig endet so das Jahr
Mit goldnem Wein und Frucht der Gärten.
Rund schweigen Wälder wunderbar
Und sind des Einsamen Gefährten.

Da sagt der Landmann: Es ist gut.
Ihr Abendglocken lang und leise
Gebt noch zum Ende frohen Mut.
Ein Vogelzug grüßt auf der Reise.

Es ist der Liebe milde Zeit.
Im Kahn den blauen Fluß hinunter
Wie schön sich Bild an Bildchen reiht -
Das geht in Ruh und Schweigen unter.

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Bertram Kottmann) , "Idyllized Autumn", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Automne transfiguré", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Luci d'autunno", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
by Georg Trakl (1887 - 1914)
3. Idyllized Autumn
With grandeur, such the year’s course ends
with golden wine and fruit from gardens.
Like magic, woods around keep still
and are the lonesome one’s companions. 

The countryman then says: It’s good. 
You evening bells ring long and quiet 
to give glad courage to the end. 
A flock of birds greets on the journey. 

It is the gentle time of love. 
In boats downstream the bluey river: 
How nicely scene to scene is strung - 
and then is drowned by rest and silence.

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2016 by Bertram Kottmann, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

    Bertram Kottmann.  Contact: BKottmann (AT) t-online.de

    If you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2016-06-07
Line count: 12
Word count: 83

Translation © by Bertram Kottmann
4. St. Peters-Friedhof [sung text checked 1 time]
Ringsum ist Felseneinsamkeit.
Des Todes bleiche Blumen schauern
auf Gräbern, die im Dunkel trauern -
doch diese Trauer hat kein Leid.

Der Himmel lächelt still herab
in diesen traumverschlossnen Garten,
wo stille Pilger seiner warten,
es wacht das Kreuz auf jedem Grab.

Die Kirche ragt wie ein Gebet
vor einem Bilde ewiger Gnaden,
manch Licht brennt unter den Arkaden,
das stumm für arme Seelen fleht --

Indes die Bäume blüh'n zur Nacht,
daß sich des Todes Antlitz hülle
in ihrer Schönheit schimmernde Fülle,
die Tote tiefer träumen macht.

Authorship

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Bertram Kottmann) , "St. Peter's Graveyard", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Cimetière de Saint Pierre", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Confirmed with Gudrun Susanne Littek, Existenz als Differenz: der "Dichter" im Werk Georg Trakls, Marburg, Tectum Verlag, 1995, page 28.


Research team for this text: Bertram Kottmann , Maria Nimmerfall
by Georg Trakl (1887 - 1914)
4. St. Peter's Graveyard
All round a solitude twixt stones. 
The pallid flowers of death do shudder 
on gravesites mourning in the darkness - 
this mourning, yet, is without pain. 

The heavens silently smile down
into this dream-enclosèd garden, 
where silent pilgrims wait with reverence. 
The cross, a guard upon each grave. 

The chapel rises like a prayer 
before an icon of grace eternal, 
some candles burn under the arcades 
and mutely plead for the poor souls - 

meanwhile the trees blossom by night 
the countenance of death to shroud in
their beauty's glimmering abundance,
which makes the dead dream deeper yet.

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2016 by Bertram Kottmann, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

    Bertram Kottmann.  Contact: BKottmann (AT) t-online.de

    If you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2016-06-07
Line count: 16
Word count: 98

Translation © by Bertram Kottmann
5. Ein Winterabend [sung text checked 1 time]
Wenn der Schnee ans Fenster fällt,
Lang die Abendglocke läutet,
Vielen ist der Tisch bereitet
Und das Haus ist wohl bestellt.

Mancher auf der Wanderschaft
Kommt ans Tor auf dunklen Pfaden.
Golden blüht der Baum der Gnaden
Aus der Erde kühlem Saft.

Wanderer tritt still herein;
Schmerz versteinerte die Schwelle.
Da erglänzt in reiner Helle
Auf dem Tische Brot und Wein.

Authorship

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Bertram Kottmann) , "A winter evening ", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Une soirée d'hiver", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Hubert Schmid
by Georg Trakl (1887 - 1914)
5. A winter evening
When the snow falls ’gainst the panes, 
long the evening bell is ringing, 
many find a well-laid table 
and their matters well arranged. 

Many a man who roams about
finds the gate on murky pathways. 
Golden blooms the tree of mercy
from the cool sap of the earth. 

Wanderer, step in, be still; 
Pain has petrified the threshold. 
There are - chaste in radiance gleaming -
on the table bread and wine. 

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2016 by Bertram Kottmann, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

    Bertram Kottmann.  Contact: BKottmann (AT) t-online.de

    If you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2016-06-07
Line count: 12
Word count: 72

Translation © by Bertram Kottmann