"Trakl's poetry is amazing. His reader is gifted with visions of a darker world, an autumnal place of surreal beauty and a dying splendor. It is not a world friendly to people—it is full of death, desolation, and decay, strange creatures and arcane gods. But it is beautiful nonetheless. Hauntingly beautiful."—Chris Faatz, Powells.com
"I do not understand them; but their tone pleases me. It is the tone of true genius."—Ludwig Wittgenstein
Song of the Departed brings back into print poems written at the height of Georg Trakl's career. Trakl boldly confronted the conflicts created by the pursuit of truth amidst the fallenness of the human condition, writing of the unspeakable that lies beyond language, creating poetry that is intensely personal and eerily beautiful. Included in this revised edition are several new translations and an introduction by the translator.
All roads disgorge to black decay.
Beneath the golden boughs of night and stars
The sister's shadow flutters through the silent grove
To greet the spirits of the heroes, bleeding heads.
And softly in the reeds drone the dark flutes of autumn.
O prouder grief! you brazen altars;
Tonight a mighty anguish feeds the hot flame of spirit:
Georg Trakl was born in Austria in 1887. He served as a medical officer during World War I. As a lyric poet, he set a dark, introspective tone that deeply influenced the course of German expressionism. He died in 1914 after an overdose of cocaine.