by Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886)
Translation © by Bertram Kottmann

It sifts from leaden sieves
Language: English 
Available translation(s): GER
It sifts from leaden sieves,
It powders all the wood,
It fills with alabaster wool
The wrinkles of the road.

It makes an even face
Of mountain and of plain, -
Unbroken forehead from the east
Unto the east again.

It reaches to the fence,
It wraps it, rail by rail,
Till it is lost in fleeces;
[It flings a crystal veil]1

[On]2 stump and stack and stem, -
[The]3 summer's empty room,
Acres of [seams]4 where harvests were,
Recordless, but for them.

It ruffles wrists of posts,
As ankles of a queen, -
Then stills its artisans like ghosts,
Denying they have been.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Hoekman: "It deals Celestial Vail"
2 Hoekman: "To"
3 Hoekman: "A"
4 Hoekman: "Joints"


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):

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Malcolm Wren [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 20
Word count: 104

Aus Sieben, bleigrau, stäubt’s
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Aus Sieben, bleigrau, stäubt’s,
bepudert Wald und Hain
und Wolle, alabasterweiß,
deckt falt’ge Straßen ein.

Es glättet das Gesicht
von Berg und Niederung -
ein ebenmäß’ges Weiß von Ost
bis Osten wiederum.

Es hüllt das Gatter ein,
Riegel um Riegel hoch
bis es versunken scheint.
Wirft sein kristallen Tuch

auf Stapel, Stumpf und Stamm -
wo Sommer nahm Logis:
auf Furchen, wo die Frucht einst stand,
vergessen, doch für sie.

Mit Rüschen ziert’s den Pfahl 
als wär’s der Kön’gin Bein -
beschwichtigt dann den Flockenspuk
und dementiert das Schnei’n.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translations of titles
"Snowfall" = "Schneien"
"Alabaster wool" = "Alabasterwolle"


  • Translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2019 by Bertram Kottmann, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

    Bertram Kottmann.  Contact: BKottmann (AT)

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This text was added to the website: 2019-01-21
Line count: 20
Word count: 89