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

Gestutzte Eiche
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Wie haben sie dich, Baum, verschnitten,
Wie stehst du fremd und sonderbar!
Wie hast du hundertmal gelitten,
Bis nichts in dir als Trotz und Wille war!
Ich bin wie du, mit dem verschnittnen,
Gequälten Leben brach ich nicht
Und tauche täglich aus durchlittnen
Roheiten neu die Stirn ins Licht.
Was in mir weich und zart gewesen,
Hat mir die Welt zu Tod gehöhnt,
Doch unzerstörbar ist mein Wesen,
Ich bin zufrieden, bin versöhnt,
Geduldig neue Blätter treib ich
Aus Ästen hundertmal zerspellt,
Und allem Weh zu Trotze bleib ich
Verliebt in die verrückte Welt.

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 269-270.


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) , "Pruned oak", copyright © 2018, (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: 2009-05-20
Line count: 16
Word count: 94

Pruned oak
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
How have they mutilated you, tree,
How different and strange you look standing there!
How you have suffered a hundred times,
Until you consisted of nothing but defiance and will!
I am like you, I did not break
With my pruned, tortured life,
And, from out of the brutalities I have suffered,
I daily immerse my brow anew in light.
What was soft and gentle in me
The world has scorned to death,
Yet indestructible is my being,
I am content, am reconciled,
Patiently I send forth new leaves
From branches split a hundred times,
And in defiance of all pain I remain
In love with this crazy world.

Authorship

  • 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.
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This text was added to the website: 2018-05-30
Line count: 16
Word count: 109