by Rabindranath Tagore (1861 - 1941)
Translation © by Bertram Kottmann

He whom I enclose with my name is...
Language: English  after the Bangla (Bengali) 
Available translation(s): FRE GER
He whom I enclose with my name is weeping in this dungeon. 
I am ever busy building this wall all around; 
and as this wall goes up into the sky day by day 
I lose sight of my true being in its dark shadow.

I take pride in this great wall, 
and I plaster it with dust and sand 
lest a least hole should be left in this name; 
and for all the care I take 
I lose sight of my true being.

About the headline (FAQ)


Based on

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):

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , title unknown, copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , title unknown, copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2010-11-03
Line count: 9
Word count: 83

Der, den mit meinem Namen ich...
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Der, den mit meinem Namen ich einschließe, er weint in diesem Kerker.
Rastlos ziehe ich Tag für Tag die Mauer hoch;
und wie sie hoch und höher wächst zum Himmel,
verlier ich immer mehr den Blick in ihrem düstern Schatten für mein wahres Ich.

Stolz bin ich auf die mächt’ge Mauer, 
verschließe sie mit Gips und Sand,
dass nicht die kleinste Öffnung sei in diesem Namen; 
bei aller Sorgfalt, aller Müh
verlier mein wahres Sein ich aus dem Blick.

About the headline (FAQ)


  • Translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2014 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)

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

Based onBased on


This text was added to the website: 2014-04-30
Line count: 9
Word count: 79