Georg Trakl

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Georg Trakl

Georg Trakl (3 February 1887, Salzburg – 3 November 1914, Kraków) was an Austrian poet. He is considered one of the most important Austrian Expressionists.


  • Nur dem, der Glück verachtet, wird Erkenntnis.
    • Knowledge comes only to those who despise happiness.
      • Nachlass und Biographie: Gedichte, Briefe, Bilder, Essays‎ (Author: Georg Trakl; editor: Wolfgang Schneditz; publisher: O. Müller, 1949, p. 8)
  • Man wird immer ärmer, je reicher man wird.
    • One becomes ever poorer, the richer he gets.
      • Letter to Erhard Buschbeck, July 1910
  • The murderer smiles palely in wine,
    Death's horror grips the sick.
    Excoriated and naked, the nun prays
    Before the Savior's agony on the cross.

    The mother sings quietly in sleep.
    Peacefully the child looks into the night
    With eyes that are completely truthful.
    In the whorehouse laughter rings.

    By candlelight down in the cellar hole
    The dead one paints with white hand
    A grinning silence on the wall.
    The sleeper whispers still.
    • "Romance in the Night"
  • In the evening you hear the scream of bats,
Two black horses jump in the meadow,
The red maple rustles.
To the traveller the small inn appears by the wayside.
Wonderful the taste of young wine and nuts,
Wonderful: stumbling drunk into darkening wood.
Through black branches painful bells sound,
On the face dew drips.
  • "Towards Evening My Heart," Poems (1913)[1]
  • The black snow that runs from the rooftops;
A red finger dips into your forehead
Blue flakes sink into the bare room,
These are the dead mirrors of lovers.
  • "Delirium" (1913) [2]

Quotes about Trakl[edit]

  • Er ist wohl kein Opfer des Krieges. Es war mir immer unbegreiflich, daß er leben konnte. Sein Irrsinn rang mit göttlichen Dingen [...].
    • He was hardly a victim of war. It was always incomprehensible to me that he could live at all. His insanity wrestled with godly things ...
    • Karl Kraus: Briefe an Sidonie Nádherný I, 83. Zitiert nach: Gerald Stieg: Der Brenner und die Fackel. Salzburg: Otto Müller 1976, 270.
    • Letter to Sidonie Nádherný, on 13/14 of November, 1914.
  • I imagine that even the initiated experiences these views and insights as an outsider pressed against panes of glass: for Trakl's experience occurs like mirror images and fills its entire space, which, like the space in the mirror, cannot be entered.
    • Rainer Maria Rilke after reading Georg Trakl's first volume of poetry Sebastian in Dream, published posthumously in 1915.
    • quoted in Ignaz Zangerle, ed., Erinnerung an Georg Trakl: Zeugnisse und Briefe, 2nd edition (Salzburg: Otto Müller, 1959), p. 11.

External links[edit]

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