by Hermann Hesse (1877 - 1962)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Knarren eines geknickten Astes
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Splittrig geknickter Ast,
Hangend schon Jahr um Jahr,
Trocken knarrt er im Wind sein Lied,
Ohne Laub, ohne Rinde,
Kahl, fahl, zu langen Lebens,
Zu langen Sterbens müd.
Hart klingt und zäh sein Gesang,
Klingt trotzig, klingt heimlich bang
Noch einen Sommer,
Noch einen Winter lang.

Note: Quiel's score notes this as Hesse's last poem.

Confirmed with Hermann Hesse, Sämtliche Werke, herausgegeben von Volker Michels, Band 10 Die Gedichte, bearbeitet von Peter Huber, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2002, page 398.


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 or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , "The creaking of a broken branch", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2014-06-05
Line count: 10
Word count: 46

The creaking of a broken branch
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Splintery broken branch,
Hanging there year after year already,
Dryly it creaks its sorrow in the wind,
Without leaves, without bark,
Bare, pallid, weary of too long a life,
Too long a dying.
Its song sounds hard and tenacious,
Sounds defiant, sounds secretly anxious
Another summer yet,
Another winter long.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2014 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: 2014-06-05
Line count: 10
Word count: 50