Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin
Showing posts with label Herbstbild. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Herbstbild. Show all posts

Saturday, 25 October 2014

'Herbstbild/ Picture of Autumn' by Friedrich Hebbel

Brigitta Huegel



Dies ist ein Herbsttag, wie ich keinen sah!          This is an autumn day as I have never seen before!
 Die Luft ist still, als atmete man kaum,                 The air is still, as if one almost doesn't breathe,
Und dennoch fallen raschelnd, fern und nah,        And yet fall rustling, far and near,
 Die schönsten Früchte ab, von jedem Baum.        The loveliest fruits from every tree.

O stört sie nicht, die Feier der Natur!                   O don't disturb it, nature's feast,
 Dies ist die Lese, die sie selber hält,                       This is the picking that she does herself.
Denn heute löst sich von den Zweigen nur,              For today from the branches only drops  
 Was vor dem milden Strahl der Sonne fällt.         what falls by the mild rays of the sun.

Friedrich Hebbel (1813 - 1863)                               (rough translation by me)



Britta says: You might wonder whether you stranded on my blog "Happiness of the Day" http://www.burstingwithhappiness.blogspot.de/ , my playground for poetry.
No - I just love that poem of Friedrich Hebbel very much - even though I just read an elaboringborate interpretation of these eight lines - on 12 (!) pages, very learned, and very critical, (didn't find a name, only the link http://mpg-trier.de/d7/read/hebbel_herbstbild.pdf)
"The title 'Autumn Painting' might lead you astray - the poet isn't painting" the little crocodile critic says (sorry to fall into Fielding's titulations). Well - as a translator one stands (?) always on wobbly ground - but I would dare to maintain that 'picture' might be used in more than one way.
But I do not want to bore you - this I leave to another person, who rigidly comes to the conclusion (on page 12!) that poor Hebbel, being a dramatist, "forms the whole too much by coming from thoughts", "explains the depiction with too much logic", "doesn't espress himself spontaneously enough, speaks in a too reflective way".
Well, well, well, -- be that as it may --- I pick up an apple and dream myself into this beautiful picture poem. In Germany we say you "put a maggot into something", when you want to run something down.
I find this apple poem perfect.

(Though my translation is not - please feel free (as ever) to correct me!)