14 December 2016

This is a rendition (I won't call it a translation, because my German is so poor and I'm cramming it with imaginative guesswork) of a poem by Stefan George.  It comes from his book Algabal , and is found in the chapter "In the Underworld."

You're prowling upon strong walls
Not knowing what's under your feet
The owner left his private beach unlocked
As owners do when they go out to blend in.

Houses and castles as he advertises them
And under the tires' rubber much swearing
The hill exists without his commentary...

Some are blinking in eternal winter,
Every hundred-colored arch to see;
Boys with jewels be trippin'
And gleamin' in front of your patient eyes.

Streams that come out from high up
Have granite and robins to sing to them;
When they've rolled down below
Their colors change.  Now they're fickle
Like the rose-petal.

When you see deep green in the harbor
There be dragons.

The creature, he transforms;
frequent return to newness satisfies.
Out of his self and his will
There is a place where light and weather play.

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