Trakl: The Dark Paths Of Men Are Strange

Trakl's four mature prose poems written after 1913 all use the new style begun in "Psalm" and "Helian."  All are strange and mysterious, fragmentary narratives that hint at a greater story lurking just beyond what we can easily see.  As with all things that hint of narrative, once we are swept up in it, once we engage, we … Continue reading Trakl: The Dark Paths Of Men Are Strange

Trakl: More Late Period Poems

Here are more of my translations from Trakl's extraordinary May-July 1914 outpouring that produced “Das Herz” (“The Heart), “Der Schlaf” (“Sleep”), “Der Abend” (“Evening”), “Die Nacht” (“Night”), “Die Schwermut” (“Melancholy”), and “Die Hedmkehr” (“Homecoming”).  These, and the poems to come, are all affected by the impending sense of doom and of the war that would begin in … Continue reading Trakl: More Late Period Poems

Trakl: The Storm That Is The World & The Home

"Storm" is one of the half-dozen or so poems completed by Trakl in 1914 in the months before his suicide.  It is a significant further development from the style of "Psalm" and the great poems "Helian" and "Elis."  It maintains their technique of narrative construction as a form of symbolic argument, but much else is new.  There … Continue reading Trakl: The Storm That Is The World & The Home

Fragments of Trakl: Imperfect Atonements

The poetry of Georg Trakl is challenging, with its symbolic arguments and narratives, that sense in each poem of being always on the cusp of a great apocalyptic revelation.  It makes the poetry fantastically rich, strange, and mysterious.  And yet it is also somehow intimate, with a warmth and vulnerability, even a humanness that feels … Continue reading Fragments of Trakl: Imperfect Atonements