Die Störche entflohen dem Norden

Die Störche entflohen dem Norden

Die Störche entflohen dem Norden,
Und nie mehr ziehn sie zurück:
Mir ist mein Kindlein gestorben,
Und nie mehr find ich mein Glück.

Mein einziges Kind ist gestorben,
Und niemand hat es bemerkt –
Denn niemals sah es den Morgen,
Und niemand hat mich gestärkt.Two storks in a nest, standing very close together, surmounted by a triangular tree and a steep roof, in the dusk.

Mein Lächeln muß ich mir borgen,
Wenn Frühjahr die Täler doch färbt:
Mir ist es, als wär ich gestorben,
Und niemand hätt’ mich beerbt.

Mir ist es, als wär’ ich im Norden,
Auf Nebelinseln, daheim:
Der Sommer hatt’ mich umworben
Und ließ mich dann achtlos allein.

Die Störche sind immer geborgen
In Kreisen von Sonne und Wind…
Doch ich erwache in Sorgen:
Mir lachte im Traume das Kind.

Christina Egan © 2013

Nest with two storks in North African city with crumbling walls and palm trees.

This is the story of a woman who lost her only child before birth or at birth, or who never had one at all and will never have one.

This poem sounds like a folksong and could be set to music.It may also work well in a translation software.

 

Photographs: Wyk on Föhr, Germany / Marrakesh, Morocco. Christina Egan © 2014/2012.

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On the Volcano’s Rim

On the Volcano’s Rim

Goldstaub
(Lanzarote)

Hoher blauer Himmel,
weißer Wolkenflug,
ungestüme Winde,
rascher Schattenzug

über rote Halden,
über graue Höhn,
über grüne Matten,
wo schon Sterne stehn:

abertausend Blüten
wie ein Frühlingslied,
Goldstaub, den die Sonne
aus dem Erdreich zieht!

Christina Egan © 2015

Gold Dust
(Lanzarote)

Blue sky, ever higher,
white clouds in full flight,
winds wilful and forceful,
swift change of the light

across the red boulders,
across the grey height,
across the green lichen,
where stars tremble bright:

a flourish of flowers
and spring in a splash,
the gold dust the sun
can draw out of the ash!

Christina Egan © 2015

Dreaming Dragon
(Lanzarote)

Dew-drops sparkling in all colours
on the mighty coal-black craggy
shoulder of a dreaming dragon:
so these tiny tender flowers
perch on the volcano’s terrace –
fire, earth and wind distilled
to a dainty dotted quilt.

Ceaseless gales and sleepless fire,
ashes fed with salty dew –
ocean and volcano brew
flora’s early, lacy layer,
magic carpet in the air,
in the boundless brown and blue…
Dreams are real. Dreams come true.

Christina Egan © 2015

The Hoard
(Lanzarote)

As the mountain bears the flower,
as the giant holds the gem,
so the hour bears my poem:
purple speck on silver stem.

Where a myriad wild flowers
sprout behind the dry-stone wall,
I must gather all my powers
till the heavens hear my call.

Christina Egan © 2015

Valentine on the Volcano
(Lanzarote)

We dance on the volcano’s rim –
although its low and sunken side,
although extinct for centuries –
tossed partly by the wild wind’s whim
and partly drunk with liquid life –
suspended over sky-blue seas!
(I found my love above Teguise!)

Christina Egan © 2015

Plain and mountain range with very dark surfaces, rosy clouds in sky

The little volcano. Photograph: Christina Egan © 2015

These lines all sprang from one of the greatest experiences of my life: climbing a little volcano on the isle of Lanzarote, about which you can find a poetic description in German and English at Isle of Bliss / Insel der Seligkeit.

Gold Dust and The Hoard could equally be set in my native Rhön Mountains, also of volcanic origin, but very far inland and much greener.

The three poems in English only may work quite well in an automatic translator. The first two poems are translations of each other, or rather, parallel creations in German and English, where rhythm and rhyme required some changes in wording. It is better to do it this way, since the message is partly conveyed by rhythm and rhyme!

You could leave out the line in brackets to use the poem for a Valentine’s or anniversary card. Copy that line, though, into your list of places to see — both little towns, Teguise and Costa Teguise, because one has got the history and the other one the beach!

This handful of poems almost sums up my work: they describe plants and mountains and the sea; they refer to most basic colours; conclude with thoughts on art and religion and love; and use the beauty of language to capture the beauty of the world.

Ecce pratum purpuratum

Ecce pratum purpuratum

Bunte Blumen wünsch’ dir nicht,
einen Regenbogen,–
um die Farbe hat das All
bitter mich betrogen.

Weiße Blumen schick’ ich dir,
ewig unbeschrieben,
schwarze Blumen noch dazu,
schon dem Tod beschieden.

Statt der buntgefächerten
frohen sonnensatten
weiße Blumen wie der Schnee,
schwarze wie der Schatten.

Purpursamen streut der Lenz
über meine Wiese…
Bunte Blumen brech’ ich dir
erst im Paradiese.

Christina Egan © 2015

Tall flowers, each part in pale pink and deep purple - almost black and white

Photograph:  ‘Bachblüten’ (Meadow flowers). František Matouš © 2016


 

Ecce pratum purpuratum

Do not ask for flowers bright,
rainbow blooming boldly –
since the universe deprived
me of colours coldly.

Let me send you flowers white,
virgin leaves forever,
flowers black as sultry night,
life and death together.

From the fanned-out golden glow
on the merry meadow
take some flowers white as snow,
flowers black as shadow.

Purple blossom scatters spring
right beneath my eyes…
Purple flowers I shall bring
you in Paradise.

Christina Egan © 2015


The title is a Latin quote from the mediaeval song cycle Carmina Burana.
The German and English versions were created to match each other.