There are several translations of Georg Trakl’s “De Profundis” out there. And here’s another. The poem is a bit melancholy and creepy, perhaps due to the murder that is indicated by the third stanza, at which point there is a shift from 4-verse to 3-verse stanzas … until the end, with a return to the 4-verse variety. The 4-verse stanzas deal more with nature or the environment, even if the “I” is embedded within it, whereas the 3-verse middle stanzas feature the crime and individuals, such as the shepherd the body (3rd) and the murderous “I” (4th and 5th), and in these three the imagery is darker (the decayed body, sombre hamlets, cold metal on the forehead as well as spiders looking for the heart) and more macabre.
There is a stubble field on which a black rain falls.
There is a tree which, brown, stands lonely here.
There is a hissing wind which haunts deserted huts—
How sad this evening.
Past the village pond
The gentle orphan still gathers scanty ears of corn.
Golden and round her eyes are gazing in the dusk
And her lap awaits the heavenly bridegroom.
Shepherds found the sweet body
Decayed in the bramble bush.
A shade I am remote from sombre hamlets.
The silence of God
I drank from the woodland well.
On my forehead cold metal forms.
Spiders look for my heart.
There is a light that fails in my mouth.
At night I found myself upon a heath,
Thick with garbage and the dust of stars.
In the hazel copse
Crystal angels have sounded once more.
— Translated by Jurek Kirakowski
This evening after a trip to the co-op for chocolate milk I returned and re-watched Starship Troopers; in the afternoon I let Handbrake (useful application, that … and free) encode my DVD copy to a 1.4GB divx .avi file.
Last night I finished the first season of Jericho (and assume there will be a second).
Sheriff Constantino from nearby New Bern is played by Timothy Omundson, whom I recognized immediately upon watching Starship Troopers; he has a short part near the beginning as the psychic in one of the propaganda pieces.
In the afternoon I read a few comics, some which sucked (Wolverine Origins #14, New X-Men vol. 2 #38, Ultimate Power #5 of 9) and a couple which were quite good (American Virgin #14 and Y: The Last Man #56). Y: The Last Man will end with issue 60, and I’ve already gotten one friend, Amy, to read it, and she loves it. Converting her to the writing of Brian K. Vaughan was a bit like getting Julia a couple years ago (actually 6 or 7!) to start reading Sheri Tepper.
I’m well into “S” now; Sarah McLachlan is done, I finished Scatterbrain and the Scorpions, and today I got to Seabound, another one of those groups where I’m not sure where I got the music, or rather from whom. Today’s music has been mostly uninspiring.