Friday, 18 July 2008

the drunken poppy of my sleepings

O laß mein Schweigen sein dein Lied!
Was soll des Armen Flüstern dir,
Der aus des Lebens Gärten schied?
Laß namenlos dich sein in mir -

Die traumlos in mir aufgebaut,
Wie eine Glocke ohne Ton,
Wie meiner Schmerzen süße Braut
Und meiner Schlafe trunkner Mohn.

Georg Trakl

O let my silence be your song!

What should the poor’s whisper be to you,
Who is separated from life’s gardens?
Let you be nameless in me -

Who is dreamlessly built up in me ,
Like a bell without tone,
Like my pain’s sweet bride
And the drunken poppy of my sleepings.


  1. ahh.. how appropriate...given we were talking about the eloquence of silences!... this is pretty, like a watercolor

  2. i agree with zuma, a real watercolour feel about this oen

  3. I thrice agree - it's really like a watercolour, beautiful and fresh

  4. I don't see any picture/watercolour..only a flower awake in a dream, or a heart blazing away as others sleep.

    'I set a thorn hedge of eyelashes as a fence around my eyes,
    so that your image cannot leave-nor can sleep enter'

  5. the three in favour of watercolour: thank you! actually I have never been able to paint a decent watercolour, I have always been more a charcoal or heavy oils person :-) maybe I'm better at it with my camera...

  6. the one rejecting the watercolour hypothesis and, as it seems, any substantialist approach as well: even if you only see the flower and the heart, disregarding the humble tools of my art in their materiality, you still need me to show them to you :-P (and that means also my camera and the heavy zoom and my back hurting when I wander too long with the camera hanging around my neck and so on) :-P

    only teasing :-)
    but how wonderful your lines... may I ask the name of the poet?

  7. yes, you may ask.

    But do you need me to answer?

    And who is to say which came first: what I saw or what you so "generously" showed me? For weren't these things or the memory of them in us before the image appeared?

    but okay, since it was such a beautiful, drowsy photo the poet was Amir Khusrau

  8. anonymous, sometimes I need you to answer. but as I said, I was only teasing you, I expected you would answer along these lines. actually I first wanted to give you a Blake-quote in support of your argument :-)
    I am happy you liked the picture.

  9. but ok, because you were kind enough to answer my question, I will give you a Bachelard-quote that you might like, at least I hope so :-)

    Great images have both a history and a prehistory; they are always a blend of memory and legend, with the result that we never experience an image directly. Indeed, every great image has an unfathomable oneiric depth to which the personal past adds special color. Consequently it is not until late in life that we really revere an image, when we discover that its roots plunge well beyond the history that is fixed in our memories. In the realm of absolute imagination, we remain young late in life. But we must lose our earthly Paradise in order actually to live in it, to experience it in the reality of its images, in the absolute sublimation that transcends all passion.

  10. but, but, roxana, there was no 'argument'. that is the wonderful thing about your blog: there are no straining egos here, no things to "prove"..only sharing, connecting.

    Well, let me put my taliban hat on for a know I cannot "revere" an image nor am i quite sure about the absolute in 'absolute sublimation'..I think when all is said and done we still wear our own hats..i once saw an interview with richard burton and he was asked : do you absorb yourself in the character you are playing. he said: no, then I wouldn't be an actor.

    Perhaps i haven't understood the quote. It doesn't matter. the sending of it was important. danke.

    But i don't know why we should lose anything..isn't that realm already a reflection of the pre-historical, touched by its shadows,a trace of it?

  11. but, anonymous, I haven't used 'argument' for 'quarrel', I just meant the reason that you gave in
    support of your ideas. I was not fighting you :-)

    Bachelard means almost always 'poetical image' when he talks about 'images', a being of language and not pictures. he is not very keen on the visual... but maybe you cannot 'revere' anything, not only 'pictures', who knows, with all those hats that you wear and change all the time :-)
    'absolute' means the poetical imagination acting freely, without any limitations imposed by reason, at the highest level of its ability to create the world anew. but don't ask what 'poetical imagination' is in bachelard, it will be a very long and almost impossible to explain :-)

    but I wonder that you say this about 'not having to lose anything'. you know we have. in order to find it again, and everytime the finding has place on a higher level of being and understanding. well, in the ideal case, at least, that the romantic thinkers imagined. because when they say that the artist has to become a child again, they don't mean this literally of course, only that he must regain the child-perception of the world and integrate it in his consciousness, wich is the highest man can achieve, because it is that of the 'absolute creator' (novalis). well don't blame this on me, it is the romantics who thought this :-) and bachelard goes here along the same lines.

  12. yes, you are right of course, without absence there can be no longing, without breaking no yearning.

    But broken circles. there are also times, perhaps exalted moments, when we see the reflections of the higher realm right here and now and do not look for spirituality 'outisde'. It is 'in' the world. This balance of -to use clumsy language-immanence and transcendence- is always with us.

    perhaps we should just say that these are shifting you say: 'higher'..a broken circle is, after all, a spiral from another view...

    and I love rumi here where he says that all is not lost since a ladder has been set up from the beginning, the fountain flows everlastingly..this is such a 'rounded' /grounded intelligence that , perhaps, wouldn't appeal to the romantics.

    as for 'lost' our tradition we have the Prophet (pbuh) coming back from the miraj to the world, back to a life of finitude (what is technically called 'the esecond subsistence'..the green waters in the black). Finitude is not a misfortune (penelope and Calypso?)
    And here the literature says that his eye did not rove and he was not lost. if to say that humanity does not mean escaping the details for the 'absolute'... the 'I' remains the I ..we still wear our hats (like in wings of desire)..eternal flux, not "love stilleth the will"...

    and it is not an abnegation of the self but a deepening of it. and so there can be no talk of reason being opposed to the imagination then if they are integrated. no? didn't colerdige say we need to think AND feel the stars? or blake's "two eyes", ibn arabi's "two hands"?

    and so i think you're right must be 'lost' in some sense, but it is only behind a veil..lost and found, hide and seek..our oldest games, no?

  13. anonymous, now I don't have the time to answer, I just want to say, re imagination with the romantics, this is a very big discussion because there are so many angles to it, of course you are right, there is also this understanding that imagination doesn't oppose reason, but only because imagination as the highest principle includes also reason. you should read novalis for this, his kant studies also, after all coleridge picked up all his ideas from the germans (I know I am stabbing some coleridge loving hearts now :-) I hope they don't read this ha :-)

    anyway, write me a mail, if you want me to elaborate on this :-) the discussion gets too long for my small blog :-)

  14. oh yes, if you really want to read about this, then I cannot but recommend James Engell's magnificent Creative Imagination, there you've got everyhting explained, but he needed some 400 pages for it, if I am not wrong :-)

  15. okay, i will write , but what is your e-mail address?

    "everything explained"..then I won't read him!