Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Kaum ein Hauch

So yesterday I read in the on-line version of the New York Review of Books that there are about 100 million blogs. A hundred million and one, now.

This is from a volume of collected poems by Goethe, published by Suhrkapf a few years back.

I have not yet figured out how to do umlauts and the like. So here I just follow the umlauted letter with an "e."

Ueber alle Gipfeln
Ist Ruh,
In alle Wipfeln
Spuerest du
Kaum ein Hauch;
Die Voegelein schweigen im Walde.
Warte nur, balde
Ruhest du auch.

A little piece like this is untranslatable, of course. Interestingly, in this volume, there is not only the translation of the editor, Robt. Middleton, but an additional one by Longfellow.

So I couldn't resist trying my own hand at it:

Over the hilltops
It is still,
Throughout the copse
You can feel
Hardly a breeze.
The birds have ceased their tune.
Be patient. Soon
You too will be at ease.

1 comment:

Paul said...

Thanks for translating. My minimal German is not quite good enough to read it but with a translation beside it I can grasp more of the original feel. Nice poem.