Showing posts with label expressionism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label expressionism. Show all posts


Ernst Stadler – In the early morning

In the early morning

The silhouette of your body is dark in the morning in front of the dim light
Of the curtained blinds. Lying in bed, I feel your face turned towards me host-like.
When you unwound yourself from my arms, your whispered “I must go” only reached the farthest gates of my dream –
Now I see, as if through a veil, your hand, as it lightly brushes the white shirt down your breasts ...
The stockings ... now the skirt ... Your hair gathered ... you’ve become a stranger, adorned for the day and the world ...
I open the door quietly ... kiss you ... you nod, distant already, a farewell ... and you are gone.
I hear, already in bed again, your gentle steps fade away in the staircase,
I am again captive of your body’s scent, which flows out of the pillows warmly and into my senses.
The morning is getting brighter. The curtain billows. Young wind and first sun want to enter.
Noise rises ... Early morning music ... sung gently into morning dreams, I fall asleep.

– Ernst Stadler (1883-1914)

From: Der Aufbruch, 1914, published shortly before the author died in World War I. Translated by Johannes Beilharz. The German original can be found here.


René Schickele – The boy in the garden

The boy in the garden

I want to put my bare hands together
and make them sink hard
as evening falls, as if they were lovers.
May bells ring at dusk,
and white veils of scent descend upon us,
as we are close together, listening to our flowers.
Tulips shine through the last glow of the day,
lilac blossoms spring from the bushes,
a bright rose melts on the ground...
We're all fond of each other.
Outside, through the blue night, we hear the muted striking of the hours.

– René Schickele (1883-1940)

English translation by Johannes Beilharz (© 2020).

German original | Other poems by René Schickele in English



My soul mate’s soul is like delicate silver,
Two lissome white seagull wings
Her feet,
And in her dear blood
Rises a blue intimation
Of things
All miraculous

– Peter Hille

English version by Johannes Beilharz, who writes:
In this translation I deviated quite noticeably from the German original, e.g. by avoiding the second person address and using third person instead ("her"), with the intention of rendering more the feeling of Peter Hille's poem or its inner intention, as I experienced it, than the actual words.
Peter Hille (1854-1904) traveled widely in England, Holland and Italy before settling in Berlin, where he became friends with Detlev von Liliencron (Germany's leading impressionist poet), Richard Dehmel, Rainer Maria Rilke, Otto Julius Bierbaum and Else Lasker-Schüler (who mystified him in her Peter Hille book of 1907). Lived most of his life in poverty, helped by friends. The Rowohlt Literaturlexikon 20. Jahrhundert (1971) calls him "the fragmentist of impressionism, who succeeded in recording momentary sensual and psychic impressions in an idiosyncratic manner." Along with Lasker-Schüler, he is also considered a precursor of German expressionism.