If you're like me (=Poe fan), you associate Halloween with a particular kind
of poetry – rhythmic, lush, full of atmosphere and allusions. Bel seems to feel the same
They didn't have Poe in Germany. They had Goethe.
This poem is NOT by Goethe. Although it says it is.
Bel kindly translated this poetic urban legend for us, just in time for the spooky season.
A German Halloween DelightIt was dark, the moon was brightSnow covered the grass so greenWhen a car crawled round the bightAt high speed, hard to be seen. Standing people sat insideDeep in silent talk engagedWhile a shot-dead little bunnySkated on the sand in rage. Sliding backwards in a trot Up a hill the car now droveOn the top an ancient corbyMeanwhile wound a turret clock. Deepest silence all aroundAnd with an appalling crashAmidst the branches of the grassTwo camels silently played chess. Meanwhile on a red, red benchWhich was painted all in blueSat a boy with golden curlsAnd his hair was black as coal. The old baggage next to him – She was not yet sixteen yearsHeld in her hand a fresh-made sarny,Which was spread with lard so clear. Up there on an apple treeWhich still bore the sweetest pearsHung the latest plum of springAnd a lot of nuts, I hear. From the street – 'twas wet from rainAll the dust dispersed at onceAnd although it was so hotA boy's ears froze on the spot. With his hands (deep in his pockets) He covered his eyes just nowCause he couldn't bear the smellof the violet-reeking cow. And two fish in merrimentRan through the field of wheat so blueFinally the sun went downAnd the day rose gray and true. By Goethe were these verses drawnIn the evening, just at dawnWhile on his chamber pot he satAnd the morning paper read.
Anonymous from Somewhere in Germany
Poetry by Bel Archive
31.10.11 Front Page
Back Issue Page