Home > Uncategorized > Georg Trakl: Night beckons to dying soldiers, the ghosts of the killed are sighing

Georg Trakl: Night beckons to dying soldiers, the ghosts of the killed are sighing

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Georg Trakl
In the East (1914)
Unknown translator

Like the wild organs of the winter storm
Is the people’s gloomy rage,
The purple billow of battle
Of stars leaf-stripped.

With broken brows, silvery arms
The night beckons to dying soldiers.
In the autumnal ash-tree’s shade
The ghosts of the killed are sighing.

Thorny wilderness surrounds the town.
From steps that bleeds the moon
Drives off dumbfounded women.
Wild wolves have burst through the gate.

*****

On The Eastern Front
Translated by James Wright and Robert Bly

The ominous anger of masses of men
Is like the wild organ of the winter storm,
The purple surge of battle,
Leafless stars.

With broken eyebrows and silver arms
The night waves to dying soldiers.
In the shade of the ash tree of autumn
The souls of the slain are sighing.

A thorny desert surrounds the city.
The moon chases the shocked women
From the bleeding stairways.
Wild wolves have broken through the door.

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