Film Poem – Carriage With Trakl

10 Nov


Sebastian in Dream

For Adolf Loos

Mother bore the infant in the white moon,
In the shadow of the walnut tree, the ancient elder,
Drunk with the juice of the poppy, the lament of the thrush;
And silently
A bearded face bent over her in compassion

Quietly in the darkness of the window; and the old household goods
Of the fathers
Lay in decay; love and autumnal reverie.

So dark the day of the year, sad childhood,
When quietly the boy climbed down to cool waters, silver fishes,
Rest and countenance;
When stony he threw himself before raving black horses,
In grey night his star came over him;

Or when he walked at the freezing hand of the mother
In the evening over Saint Peter’s autumnal cemetery,
A delicate corpse lay still in the darkness of the chamber
And the other one raised the cold eyelids over him.

But he was a small bird in bleak branches,
The bell long in the November evening,
The father’s stillness, as in sleep he descended the dusking spiral stair.


Peace of the soul. Lonesome winter evening,
The dark figures of the shepherds by the old pond;
Infant in the hut of straw; o how quietly
The countenance sank in black fever.
Holy night.

Or when he at the hard hand of the father
Silently climbed the sinister Mount Calvary
And in dusking rock-niches
The blue figure of man went through his legend,
Blood ran purple from the wound under the heart.
O how quietly the cross rose up in the dark soul.

Love; when in black corners the snow melted,
A blue breeze cheerfully caught itself in the old elder,
In the shadowy arch of the walnut tree;
And quietly a rosy angel appeared to the boy.

Joy; when in cool rooms an evening sonata sounded,
In the brown rafters
A blue moth crept from its silver chrysalis.

O the nearness of death. In stony wall
A yellow head bent, silencing the child,
When in that March the moon decayed.


Rosy Easter Bell in the burial vault of night
And the silver voices of the stars
So that in showers a dark insanity sank from the forehead of the sleeper.

O how silent a walk down the blue river,
Pondering on things forgotten, when in green branches
The thrush calls a stranger into decline.

Or when he walked at the bony hand of the old man
Evenings before the decayed wall of the city,
And the other one bore a rosy infant in a black coat,
In the shadow of the walnut tree the spirit of evil appeared.

Groping over the green steps of summer. O how quietly
The garden decayed in autumn’s brown stillness,
Scent and gloom of the old elder tree,
When in Sebastian’s shadow the silver voice of the angel died.

-Georg Trakl

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