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

Unbegreiflich fremd und ferne
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Unbegreiflich fremd und ferne
Blickt die Jugendheimat her,
Ihre Sonnen, ihre Sterne
Leuchten meinem Weg nicht mehr.
Ihre Freuden und Beschwerden
Heute Lied und Sage sind,
Ihre Namen und Gebärden
Kaum noch Blätterspiel im Wind.
Aber hier auf Buches Zeilen
Stehen sie zum Bild gebannt,
Warten treulich und verweilen,
Haben Form und halten Stand.
Und nach leidgetränkten Jahren,
Die so vieles uns zerstört,
Wird der Welt, die wir einst waren,
Sage immer noch gehört.
Ihre Runen werden bleicher,
Ihre Töne fern und zart,
Doch sie hat in zauberreicher
Anmut ewige Gegenwart.

J. Wetzel sets lines 1-8, 17-20

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Hermann Hesse, Sämtliche Werke, herausgegeben von Volker Michels, Band 10 Die Gedichte, bearbeitet von Peter Huber, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2002, pages 372-373.


Authorship

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) , no title, 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: 2014-10-21
Line count: 20
Word count: 91

Unfathomably foreign and far away
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Unfathomably foreign and far away
The homeland of youth gazes toward me,
Its suns, its stars
No longer shine upon my way.
Its joys and burdens
Are song and legend now,
Its names and gestures
Are barely even the play of leaves in the wind.
But here in the lines of a book
They stand transfixed into an image,
They wait faithfully and remain,
They have a form and are steadfast.
And after sorrow-drenched years
That destroyed so much for us,
The legend of the world that we once were
Shall still be heard.
Its runes are becoming paler,
Its sounds distant and delicate,
But in magical charm and beauty
It has an eternal presence.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translated titles:
"Beim Wiederlesen von "Heumond" und "Schön ist die Jugend"" = "Upon rereading “Heumond (July)” and "Schön ist die Jugend (Youth is Lovely)""
"Jugendheimat" = "Homeland of youth"

Authorship

  • 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.
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Based on

 

This text was added to the website: 2014-10-21
Line count: 20
Word count: 115