Monday, 8 January 2018

Poetry Revisited: Das lesende Kind – The Reading Child by Friedrich Adler

Das lesende Kind

(aus Wilhelm Arendt (Hg):
Moderne Dichtercharaktere: 1885)

Auf den Schooß das Buch gebreitet,
Scheinst du nichts um dich zu missen,
Starrst hinein, indeß beflissen
Ueber's Blatt der Finger gleitet.

In das Meer der Zeichen leitet
Dich kein Können noch und Wissen,
Unbeschränkt, in schwanken Rissen
Sich dein junges Sinnen weitet.

Süßes Dämmern! Traumumwoben
Schläft das Denken noch im Neste,
Nur das Fühlen schwebt nach oben.

Ach, des Lebens trübe Reste
Bleiben, wenn der Flor gehoben—
Das Geheimniß ist das Beste.

Friedrich Adler (1857-1938)
Österreichischer Jurist, Übersetzter
und Schriftsteller böhmischer Herkunft

The Reading Child

(from Wilhelm Arendt (ed.):
Modern Poetic Characters: 1885)

The book spread on the lap,
You do not seem to miss anything,
stare into it, but anxious
Over the sheet the fingers glide.

Into the sea of characters leads
You no skill nor knowledge,
Unrestricted, in tense cracks
Your young senses are expanding.

Sweet dawn! Mystified by dream
The thinking is still sleeping in the nest,
Only feeling floats up.

Oh, life‘s cloudy remains
Stay when the veil is lifted—
The secret is the best.

Friedrich Adler (1857-1938)
Austrian jurist, translator and
writer of Bohemian origin
Literal translation: Edith Lagraziana 2018

2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Me too! And obviously this is why I picked the poem.

      The writer was lucky enough to die before Austria and Bohemia were annexed by Nazi Germany, or else he would certainly have died in the ghetto like his wife or have vanished like his daughter.

      Delete

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