by Berthold Viertel (1885 - 1953)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Die Leiter blieb noch unterm Feigenbaume...
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Die Leiter blieb noch unterm Feigenbaume stehen,
Doch er ist gelb und schon längst [leer gegessen]1
Von Schnäbeln und von Mündern, wem's zuerst geglückt.
 
Wird ihn der nächste Sommer grün und reich beladen sehn,
Und [kam]2 der Friede unterdessen,
Mag es ein [anderer]3 sein, der hier die Feigen pflückt.
 
Wir wären dann in kältere Breiten heimgegangen:
Da wächst kein Feigenbaum, [höchstens noch der Wein,
Ja, Äpfel, Birnen, Kirschen, wenn auch nicht Citronen.
 
Trotzdem gedeihn die Kinder dort mit roten Wangen.
Und fällt der Schnee, wir werden umso frischer sein
Und gern im wieder frei gewordnen Winter wohnen.]4

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Bertold Viertel, Der Lebenslauf. Gedichte, New York: Aurora Verlag, 1946, page 37

1 Eisler: "leergegessen"
2 Eisler: "kommt"
3 Eisler: "andrer"
4 Eisler: "Aber der Wein. / Fällt dort der Schnee, / Werden wir umso frischer sein / Und gern im wieder befreiten Winter wohnen."

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) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Auditorium du Louvre , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 12
Word count: 97

The ladder still remained standing under...
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
The ladder still remained standing under the fig tree,
But the tree is yellow and all its figs have long been consumed
By beaks and mouths, whoever was fortunate enough to get them first.
 
If the next summer sees it green and richly laden,
And if peace [came]1 in the meantime,
It may be someone else who picks the figs here.
 
We would then have returned home to colder regions:
There no fig tree grows, [at most grapevines,
Yes, apples, pears, cherries, though not lemons.
 
Nevertheless children thrive there with red cheeks.
And if snow falls, we shall be all the more alive
And shall live gladly in the winter that has become liberated once again.]2

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Translated titles:
"Kalifornischer Herbst" = "Californian autumn"
"L'automne californien" = "Californian autumn"

1 Eisler: "comes"
2 Eisler: " But grapevines do. // If snow falls there, / We shall be all the more alive / And shall live gladly in the winter that has been liberated once again."

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2016 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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This text was added to the website: 2016-09-16
Line count: 12
Word count: 116