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Hölderlin: Hälfte des Lebens



Another Hölderlin version  . . .There are many versions of this poem in English, but my favourite translation is Kathleen Jamie's Scots version.



Hälfte des Lebens

Mit gelben Birnen hänget
Und voll mit wilden Rosen
Das Land in den See,
Ihr holden Schwäne,
Und trunken von Küssen
Tunkt ihr das Haupt
Ins heilignüchterne Wasser.


Weh mir, wo nehm’ ich, wenn
Es Winter ist, die Blumen, und wo
Den Sonnenschein,
Und Schatten der Erde?
Die Mauern stehn
Sprachlos und kalt, im Winde
Klirren die Fahnen.

Midlife

Yellow with pears
Heavy with wild roses
The land hangs in the lake
Magnificent swans
Drunk with kisses
You dip your heads
In the holy sober water

Where will I find
Flowers this winter
And where will I find
The sunshine and shade
of the earth? Speechless and cold
The walls stand, and the weathercocks
Rattle in the wind

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