by Christian Morgenstern (1871 - 1914)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Die Korfsche Uhr
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Korf erfindet eine Uhr,
die mit zwei Paar Zeigern kreist,
und damit nach vorn nicht nur,
sondern auch nach rückwärts weist.

Zeigt sie zwei, - somit auch zehn;
zeigt sie drei, - somit auch neun;
und man braucht nur hinzusehn,
um die Zeit nicht mehr zu scheun.

Denn auf dieser Uhr von Korfen,
mit dem janushaften Lauf,
(dazu ward sie so entworfen):
hebt die Zeit sich selber auf.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , title 1: "La montre korfienne", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , title 1: "Korf's clock", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2004-11-30
Line count: 12
Word count: 68

Korf's clock
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Korf invented a clock
that has two circling pairs of hands,
and points with them not only forwards
but also backwards.

If it indicates two, - then also ten;
if it indicates three, - then also nine;
and one only has to look at it
in order never again to be fearful of time.

For upon this clock of Korf's,
with its Janus-like movement,
(and for this it was invented):
Time negates itself.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2013 by Sharon Krebs, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2013-11-18
Line count: 12
Word count: 73