The Sun

by Georg Trakl

Each day the yellow sun rises over the hill.
The woods glow, the dark beast,
Man: hunter or shepherd.

Blood-fish surface in the teeming pond.
Under the dome of heaven
the fisherman drifts in his blue boat.

The grapes ripen slowly, the corn.
When day slumps to a close,
Good and Evil are poised.

Night falls.
The wanderer lifts his heavy eyelids.
The sun breaks from the dark ditch.

Translated by Eric Plattner


Die Sonne

by Georg Trakl

Täglich kommt die gelbe Sonne über den Hügel.
Schön ist der Wald, das dunkle Tier,
Der Mensch; Jäger oder Hirt.

Rötlich steigt im grünen Weiher der Fisch.
Unter dem runden Himmel
Fährt der Fischer leise im blauen Kahn.

Langsam reift die Traube, das Korn.
Wenn sich stille der Tag neigt,
Ist ein Gutes und Böses bereitet.

Wenn es Nacht wird,
Hebt der Wanderer leise die schweren Lider;
Sonne aus finsterer Schlucht bricht.


~ by Ep on June 14, 2010.

4 Responses to “The Sun”

  1. i think you ought to put the originals with these translations,
    and maybe add georg heym to these poets??

    • Thanks for the suggestions, Michael. I’ll tinker around with adding the German (this template won’t allow side-by-side, which would be ideal). As for Heym, I’m turning my attention now to Nelly Sachs; perhaps I can get to him next summer.


  2. nelly sachs is fine with me since i translated about 65 poems of her for my volume “oh the chimneys” with farrar, straus, 1967.
    here’s a link to no end of german poetry which has links to the orginals of numerous poets:

    best, michael r.

    • You are -that- Michael Roloff?! *O the Chimneys* is the book that introduced me to and made me fall in love with Germany poetry (it was given to me at Fresno State by the poet Peter Everwine), and your translation of “Already embraced by the arm of heavenly solace” was -the- poem that sealed the marriage (along with Joachim Neugroschel’s translation of Celan’s “Todesfugue,” given to us by Heather McHugh at Iowa).

      Even venturing to translate Sachs (much less publish them) … it took three years before I felt I had something to add.

      Thanks again for the feedback, Michael. I’ll get to work on adding the German originals.

      Best regards,

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