georg trakl

On The Marshy Pastures

A man who walks in the black wind; the dry reeds
            rustle quietly
Through the silence of the marshy pastures. In
            the grey skies
A migration of wild birds move in ranks
Catty-corner over dark waters.

Insurgence. In the collapsing houses
Decay is fluttering out with black wings;
Crippled-up birches breathe heavily in the wind.

Evening in empty roadhouses. The longing for home
            settles about
The delicate despair of the grazing flocks,
Vision of the night: toads plunge from silver waters.

—Georg Trakl, Twenty Poems of Georg Trakl

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9 Comments

  1. Hi Sean. I love these two lines: ‘Crippled-up birches breathe heavily in the wind.’ and ‘Catty-corner over dark waters.’ Actually the entire poem is terrific I never heard of Georg Trakl so I’m going to dive into that pdf. Thanks for posting.

    Reply
    • Glad you enjoyed it, Taidgh. I just discovered him myself and haven’t delved too deep yet. I found him through Robert Walser, who was one of his contemporaries and very much admired him. Since I like Walser a lot, I thought I’d follow up.

      Reply
      • He’s a good find, I must say. It’s great to read poems and realise there is so much more to poetry that can be learned (of course) and many more poets to be discovered.

        Thought I’d give you the heads up on ILK submissions, while I’m here. I quite enjoy the poems and I’ve found a few gems there. If you’re interested they’re looking for submissions up until 15 April. Here’s the link: http://ilkjournal.com/journal/ I’ve tried submitting to them in the past I may have another go at it.

        Reply
        • Thanks, Taidgh. I like ILK, too, and have submitted there a couple of times in the past myself. I seem to remember them having an overly personal-sounding form rejection response, i.e. it fooled me into thinking it might not be a form response. It wasn’t until I got the second one that I knew for sure. That sort of irritated me. Maybe I should try again, although I’ve not been that excited about submitting work lately.

  2. I know of Trakl’s work through Heidegger’s late work on language.

    Reply
    • That’s cool. In what context does he reference Trakl…

      Reply
      • As the content for his meditations. I would have to re-read.

        Reply
        • I can see these poems being good for meditations on language. They have a way of saying a lot in spare words without explicitly saying much, if that makes sense.

  1. george trakl’s snowy descent | lost gander

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