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Georg Trakl

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

 

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     IN AN ABANDONED ROOM

 

     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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Translated by Daniele Pantano