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

Ich bin auch in Ravenna gewesen
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG ENG FRE
Ich bin auch in Ravenna gewesen,
Ist eine kleine, tote Stadt,
Die Kirchen und viel Ruinen hat,
Man kann davon in den Büchern lesen.

Du gehst hindurch und schaust dich um,
Die Straßen sind so trüb und naß
Und sind so tausendjährig stumm,
Und überall wächst Moos und Gras!

Das ist wie alte Lieder sind,
Man hört sie an und keiner lacht
Ein jeder lauscht und jeder sinnt
Hernach daran bis in die Nacht.

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, page 77.


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 (Emily Ezust) , no title, copyright ©
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Ravenna - 1", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 12
Word count: 74

I was in Ravenna as well
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
I was in Ravenna as well;
It is a small, dead city
That has churches and many ruins,
One can read about them in books.

You walk through it and look about,
The streets are so dreary and wet
And are so millenially mute,
And moss and grass grows everywhere!

That is how old songs are,
One listens to them and no one laughs,
And everyone harkens and everyone ponders
Them afterwards until well into the night.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translations of title(s):
"Ravenna" = "Ravenna "
"Ich bin auch in Ravenna gewesen" = "I was in Ravenna as well"


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2018 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: 2018-01-15
Line count: 12
Word count: 77