Weeds grow where they want to; not where they're told to grow...


Georg Trakl

Translated by Daniele Pantano

Pantano has given us a purer and even painterly Trakl who is too often translated like cigarettes soaked in Paregoric. Here the Virgil in Trakl is experienced more, not just the Veronal. That is, Pantano has the Austrian's essential landedness, which is higher than his skies and birds.

--James Reidel



  Window, brilliant bed of flowers,
  An organ comes playing in.
  Shadows dancing on wallpaper,
  Fantastically mad sequence.

  Ablaze, the bushes waver
  And a pulsating swarm of gnats.
  On distant fields scythes mow
  And an ancient water sings.

  Whose breath comes to caress me?
  Swallows draw insane signs.
  There through boundless space
  The golden woodland softly flows.

  Flames flicker in the beds.
  Enraptured this crazed sequence
  Scattered on yellowed paper.
  Someone gazes through the door.

  Sweet smell of incense and pears
  And glass and chest in twilight.
  Slowly the feverish forehead
  Bows to the white stars.


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