Der Knauf / Schnellgeschrieben

Der Knauf

Schon viele haben Blumen dir gepflückt,
von Löwenzahn bis hin zu Feuerlilien,

vielleicht auch mancher einen Edelstein –
doch niemand pflückte je dir einen Stern.

Und wenn ich tausend Jahre leben muß,
und wenn ich tausend Jahre lieben muß:

Ich hole dir den kupferfarbnen Knauf
vom ungeheuren Sternengittertor

zur dämmerdunkelblauen Seligkeit
und leg ihn sanft in deine hohle Hand.

Christina Egan © 2012


Schnellgeschrieben

Sterne ans Firmament zu setzen ist mir ein Leichtes:
Funkelnde Verse schleif flink ich mit sicherer Hand.
Sterne hingegen vom Himmel zu greifen geschieht nur im Traume:
Sprühende Küsse erhascht selten der federnde Fuß.

Christina Egan © 2016


In The Knob, the person wants to pick for her beloved one something better than a flame-coloured flower, better than a sparkling gem: a copper-coloured star!

In the distichon Written Quickly, the poet states that she can easily put stars up, that is, her verse, but rarely picks stars, that is, kisses, other than in dreams…

These poems would not work in a translation software because the first one invents words and the second one jumbles up the word order, like the ancients did.

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Three Stars / Drei Sterne

Three Stars

Three stars in the sky…
Three lines only to tell you
all my hopes for us.

*

Sneeze

Your sweet face – a sneeze –
as sudden and explosive
as your sweet haiku.

Christina Egan © 2013

Stamp with bright artistic impression of spaceship flying between planets and stars.

Drei Sterne

Drei Sterne am Himmel…
Drei Zeilen für dich, für
all meine Hoffnung.

*

Nieser

Dein liebes Gesicht
– ein Nieser – plötzlich, heftig
,
wie deine Haikus!

Christina Egan © 2016


A haiku is a Japanese poetic form; each poem has only three lines and seventeen syllables, which amounts sometimes to only a dozen words, even with a title. Yet you can say a lot in three lines… The word game is more difficult in German than in English, since the words are longer; translation can be a challenge.

A traditional haiku starts with an image from nature indicating the season; you will see on my haiku pages that I largely follow this rule. These here are different: one is simply romantic and one humorous, and both are about reading and hearing haiku!


 

Illustration: Stamp of 1963. (Scanned by Darjac) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Im Spiegelsaal / Unter der Fontäne

Im Spiegelsaal
(Stadtschloß zu Fulda)

Die buntbemalten Wände spiegeln sich
mit blanken Splittern Gegenwart darin.
Sie zeigen hundertfältig dich und mich,
und hunderfach scheinst du mir auf im Sinn.

Doch die Porträts in alten goldnen Rahmen
sind ausgewischt nach einem Augenblick –––
Es bleiben nur im Buche unsre Namen
und in den Herzen hundertfaches Glück.

Christina Egan © 2000


Unter der Fontäne

Park with flowerbeds leading to fountain and elegant rococo palace

Du stehst und schaust versunken
dem hohen Springquell zu:
die Flut von hellen Funken
strömt Leben aus und Ruh.

Der Silberstimme lauschst du,
als sei’s ein Lied für dich,
und deine eigne bauschst du

und wirfst sie über mich.

Das Lautspiel meiner Lieder
ist Widerschall von dir,
und deine Lieder wieder
nimmst, Liebster, du von mir.

Christina Egan © 2004


The first poem was written for my own wedding and the second one for one of our wedding anniversaries. We got married in a palace with mirror cabinets and with tall fountains in the gardens (see picture and link to 3D-tour of the sparkling rooms).

In the first poem, the words and sounds reflect each other, just like the people and scenes in the mirrors. Similarly, the music of the water features in the second poem is echoed in the songs or poetry which the couple compose for each other — and in the music of these lines.

Photograph: City Palace Gardens, Fulda, Germany (Schloßpark Fulda). Christina Egan © 2014.

December Date

December Date

The afternoon is royal blue,
Burning sparkler on black background, looking like a supernova!with tiny lights festooned,
I rush, I’m flushed, I look for you —
we never meet too soon!

The windows decked with evergreen,
with tinsel and with gold —
and there, my angel, genuine,
a candle in the cold!

Christina Egan © 2015

Photograph by Gabriel Pollard [CC BY-SA 2.5].
Featured picture on Wikimedia Commons.

psalm für dich / The Charm

psalm für dich

ein schwebender lebender planet
ist dein auge
ein schimmernder sternennebel
dein haar

manche menschen drehen sich nach dir um
und auch manche engel
Gott hat dich erfunden
um sich zu erfreuen

Christina Egan © 2012


This poem has just been published in the Münsterschwarzacher Bildkalender 2017.

The person described may be someone the speaker is in love with or someone else, like a young child. Ultimately, it could be each one of us. I imagine that God feels as passionately about each human being as we feel only about very few others… and of course, still never as passionately.


The Charm

I want to rest my stormy eyes
in yours to find a moment’s calm;
I want to rest my wounded hands
in yours to find their strongest balm.

I need to lay my heart by yours,
which cast this fast and forceful charm,
I need to hear your heart tune in
to sing a brief and burning psalm.

Christina Egan © 2003

Zwei Zauberkugeln / Bright Grey Eyes

Zwei Zauberkugeln

Zwei Zauberkugeln, Spiegel
von Wolken, Fluss und Feld
enthalten unter Siegel
die Zukunft, matt erhellt:
Zwei blanke graue Augen
erwecken neuen Glauben
an diese alte Welt.

Christina Egan © 2004


 

Bright Grey Eyes

With you, there is no waning light
of day, of season or of life;
there’s growing glow and growing sight
of bright grey eyes in bright grey eyes.

With you, there is no wasted time
doomed to oblivion or decay;
each day is gained, each year a line
of our winding, climbing way.

Christina Egan © 2009


 

These two poems have a similar topic,
but are not translations of each other.

The colour of the writing on this page
emulates the eye colours of the couple.

Proteus / Daedalus

Proteus

Your beauty is the beauty of the clouds:
as grand and graceful, as remote,
from silver changing into gold,
and changing shape, and changing whereabouts.

Your beauty is the one of Proteus:
I’m bound to watch it swirl and stay,
afraid your heart will likewise sway,
innocuous and gay and treacherous.

Your beauty is the one of Morpheus:
I’m bound to drink it in a dream,
afraid of stumbling on that stream,
with ghostly flowers studded, murderous.

Your beauty is the beauty of the clouds.
your ever-present smile the gleam
behind their soft and tousled seam…
Your soul is what your face reveals and shrouds.

Christina Egan © 2012

Daedalus

I watch the condor pass:
lofty and lonely,
steady and strong,
improbable like Daedalus…

I watch the condor pass
and want to follow him
across the barren peaks –
I want to touch the clouds…

Christina Egan © 2012