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

Immer hin und wider
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Immer [hin und wider]1
Strebt der Blütenzweig im Winde,
Immer auf und nieder
Strebt mein Herz gleich einem Kinde
Zwischen hellen und dunklen Tagen,
Zwischen Wollen und Entsagen.

Bis die Blüten sind verweht
Und der Zweig in Früchten steht,
Bis das Herz, der Kindheit satt,
Seine Ruhe hat
Und bekennt: voll Lust und nicht vergebens
War das unruhvolle Spiel des Lebens.

S. Zehendner sets lines 1-4, 7-10

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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 188.

1 G. Wilhelm: "auf und nieder" (as it is in the third line)


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 © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Claus Swienty , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2018-08-13 09:57:12
Line count: 12
Word count: 61

Always back and forth
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Always [back and forth]1
The blossom-sprig strives in the wind,
Always up and down
My heart strives like a child
Between bright and dark days,
Between desire and renunciation.

Until the blossoms have been scattered by the wind
And the branch stands full of fruit,
Until the heart, satiated with childhood,
Has found its rest
And acknowledges: full of joy and not in vain
Was the tumultuous play of life.

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Translations of title(s):
"Immer hin und wider" = "Always back and forth"
"Der Blütenzweig" = "The sprig of blossoms"

1 G. Wilhelm: "up and down" (as it is in the third line)


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2017 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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Text added to the website: 2017-10-09 00:00:00
Last modified: 2017-10-09 13:06:58
Line count: 12
Word count: 70