Surprise Translation

I was nicely surprised to wake up this morning to find a wonderful translation of Im Abendrot in my inbox. I have posted before about this poem by Joseph von Eichendorff, which I discovered via the music of Richard Strauss. Teh generous spirited Richard Gardner found my ear;y post and has furnished me with a brand new translation all his own, which sticks rigourously to the structure and rhythm of the orignal. I love this translation…it may even be my favourite.

Im Abendrot (At Sunset)

Through misery and pleasure,
We wandered hand in hand;
And now we take our leisure,
Above the tranquil land.

Ringed by valleys leaning o’er,
The air to darkness bent;
Just two skylarks upwards soar,
Day-dreaming in the scent.

Come and let them whirl away,
It’s time for us to sleep;
Lest we err and go astray
In solitude this deep.

Vast and silent stillness fired
With sunset red the breadth!
How can we feel so tired?
Can this perhaps be death?

Translated by Richard Gardner


Published by Damien Walter

Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Teaches the Rhetoric of Story to over 35,000 students worldwide.

2 thoughts on “Surprise Translation

  1. This poem almost feels like Richard Gardner wrote it. I’m a good friend and not having read the original poem, I have the pleasure of reading Richard’s translation. He would see life very much like the poet did, I think, which is why he can translate it so well.
    Thank you Richard!



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