Surrender to Night: Collected Poems of Georg Trakl by Georg Trakl
English | 2019 | General Fiction | ePUB |416 Kb
Surrender to Night: An essential collection of the visionary poet Georg Trakl’s finest work in a new translation by poet Will Stone
Georg Trakl is recognised as one of the most important European poets of the twentieth century. His visionary poetry has influenced not only later poets but also composers, artists and filmmakers. The full measure of Trakl’s genius can be appreciated in this extensive Collected Poems, intuitively translated by poet Will Stone, which features the key collections including the posthumously published Sebastian in Dream, 1915. Supplementary to these are the poems originally published in the literary journal Der Brenner as well as a discerning selection of Trakl’s uncollected work.
Trakl’s trademark tonal qualities, his melancholy stamp, the often apocalyptic but eerily beautiful language gradually infect the reader. His poems are awash with images, symbolic colours and signs; mysterious dream-like figures appear and vanish, and an alternative world is born out of the unconscious. The most sensitive observer of Trakl’s poetry was his contemporary, Rainer Maria Rilke, who concluded: ‘For me, the Trakl poem is an object of sublime existence…
“In the courtyard the autumn moon shines white.
From the roof’s edge grotesque shadows fall.
A silence dwells in empty windows;
Where softly the rats rush upwards
And, whistling, scurry here and there
And a greyish whiff of haze wafts
After them from the privy, through which
The moonlight quivers spectrally.
And insatiably they squabble as if insane
Crowding into house and barns,
Swollen with fruit and grain.
In the darkness icy winds complain.
In the summer of 1910, Trakl finally achieved his title of “Magistrum artis pharmaceuticae” and was qualified to practise as a pharmacist. Tobias Trakl died, and with him in the space of a few years the family business. It was essential now for the disorderly poet to establish himself financially, but his periods of work were erratic, short-lived and fraught with anxiety, and money issues dogged him. He even sold his cherished Dostoyevsky volumes and those of Nietzsche, Rilke, Wilde and Shaw in order to make ends meet. Grete’s decision to marry at this juncture did not help Trakl’s mental state, and as a result he became ever more alienated from the family in Salzburg.”