Autumn Sonata: Selected Poems of Georg Trakl

Georg Trakl, Author, Daniel Simko, Translator Moyer Bell $12.95 (135p) ISBN 978-0-918825-94-0
Haunted by the ``cold radiance'' of death, Trakl's poems and two prose pieces collected in this bilingual volume create a romantically heightened interior world of suffering and hoped-for transcendence. ``Gone is the gold of day'' from this intensely imagined realm, where autumnal imagery--a ``stubble-field,'' a ``brown tree that stands alone''--suggests the beginnings of a spiritual and physical ``black decomposition.'' Austrian-born Trakl (1887-1914), who died an apparent suicide by cocaine overdose, was compelled in his writing by ``an angry God'' and ``the icy wave of eternity,'' and viewed death as an elevating and terrifying power more potent than mortal experience (``The dance of the living appears unreal / And strangely dispersed''). Eminently visual, his work evokes a sometimes frantic sense of doom and a longing for deliverance (a ``blue moment'') not expected to take place. The prose is relatively direct and visceral; its ferocity of feeling is effectively conveyed by poet Simko, who faces a more difficult task--and occasionally waxes prosaic--in translating Trakl's highly charged, elliptical verse. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
Paperback - 160 pages - 978-1-55921-251-9
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