Herbsttag / Rainer Maria Rilke

……………………………..

He who now has no house, will build one never.
He who is alone, will long so remain,
will awaken, read, lengthy letters pen
and in the lanes will forever
restlessly wander, when the leaves are driven.

Herr, es ist Zeit. Der Sommer war sehr gross.
Leg deinen Schatten auf die Sonnenuhren,
und auf den Fluren lass die Winde los.

Befiehl den letzten Früchten, voll zu sein;
gib ihnen noch zwei südlichere Tage,
dränge sie zur Vollendung hin, und jage
die letzte Süsse in den schweren Wein.

Wer jetzt kein Haus hat, baut sich keines mehr.
Wer jetzt allein ist, wird es lange bleiben,
wird wachen, lesen, lange Briefe schreiben
und wird in den Alleen hin und her
unruhig wandern, wenn die Blätter treiben.

 

Many translation exist but I think it is not really possible to translate the “stimmung” of Rilke’s poem, but here is one by M. D. Herter Norton 1938:

Autumn Day

Lord, it is time. The summer was very big.
Lay thy shadow on the sundials,
and on the meadows let the winds go loose.

Command the last fruits that they shall be full;
give them another two more southerly days,
urge them on to fulfillment and drive
the last sweetness into heavy wine.

Who has no house now, will build him one no more.
Who is alone now, long will so remain,
will wake, read, write long letters
and will in the avenues to and fro
restlessly wander, when the leaves are blowing.

Or this translation is by Doug Sutton:

Autumn Day

Lord: it’s time. The summer was magnificent.
Lay your shadows upon the sun-dials
and o’er the isles allow your winds to vent.

Command the final fruits to be full and fine;
give them two more days in the southern sun,
push them to completion and then run
the last sweetness through the heavy wine.

He who now has no house, will build one never.
He who is alone, will long so remain,
will awaken, read, lengthy letters pen
and in the lanes will forever
restlessly wander, when the leaves are driven.

 

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About lorianapauli

Born in Italian speaking Ticino/Switzerland. Lived all my life in different parts of that very country till I found my way "home", where I truly belong > the 'Long Island'.
This entry was posted in Languages: German, Poetry and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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