Poem Hunter
Poems
Experience
(1 February 1874 – 15 July 1929 / Vienna)

Experience

The valley of dusk was filled

With a silver-grey fragrance, like the moon

Seeping through clouds. But it wasn't night.

The silver-grey fragrance of the dark valley

Caused my sleepy thoughts to blur,

And silently I sank into the weaving,

Transparent sea and left my life.

What wonderful flowers there were,

With dark chalices glowing! A maze of plants

Through which a yellow-red light,

as if from topazes, glowed in warm streams. All

Was filled with a deep swelling

Of melancholy music. And this I knew,

Even though I could not fathom it, but I knew:

This was death. Death turned music,

With an immense longing, sweet and glowing darkly,

Brother to deepest melancholy.

And yet:

A nameless homesickness for life kept crying

Mutely in my soul, crying as someone

On board a big ocean vessel would cry, a ship, driven

By gigantic yellow sails, passing by the city,

His city, at night in dark-blue water. There he sees

The lanes, hears the rushing of the fountains, smells

The scent of the lilac bushes, sees himself,

A child, standing on the shore, with a child's eyes,

Fearful, with tears welling up, sees

Through the open window the light in his room

But the big ship carries him along,

Gliding away on dark-blue water soundlessly,

Driven by gigantic yellow sails of strange shape.

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