Wednesday, July 25, 2012

De nuestro amigo Quinoff & más

[poesía] DEHMEL


Dehmel en 1905Noche transfigurada

(fragmentos)
 

Dos personas atraviesan un desolado y frío bosque; la luna les acompaña, y ellos la observan.
La luna pasea por los altos robles;
ninguna nube opaca la luz del cielo, donde se extienden negras ramas.
La voz de una mujer dice:

«Llevo un niño, pero no es tuyo,
camino a tu lado en pecado.
Cometí una grave ofensa contra mí misma.
Creí que ya no podría ser feliz
y aun así sentía el fuerte anhelo
de sentir la plenitud, la felicidad de ser madre.

Así fue como me atreví;
dejé que mi sexo se estremeciera,
tomado por un hombre extraño.
Ahora la vida cobra su venganza:
ahora que a ti, oh, a ti te he encontrado.»

Ella camina con paso torpe.
Levanta la vista; la luna se acerca.
Su mirada sombría se ahoga en la luz.
La voz de un hombre dice:

«Ese niño que has concebido
no debe oprimir tu alma,
¡mira el claro resplandor del universo!
La gloria rodea todas las cosas;
tú vas conmigo a la deriva en un mar frío,
pero un calor peculiar vibra
desde ti hacia mí, y desde mí hacia ti.
Esa llama transfigurará al pequeño,
que darás a luz como si fuese mío;
tú me has traído la gloria,
me has convertido en un niño.»

Él la toma de sus fuertes caderas.
Su aliento se besa en el aire.
Dos personas atraviesan una imponente y clara noche.

Richard Dehmel



Klimt
«El abrazo», detalle — Gustav Klimt

Este poema inspiró en 1899 la temprana obra maestra homónima de Arnold Schönberg, Verklärte Nacht Opus 4, la más lírica de todas sus obras, escrita en tres semanas luego de conocer a Mathilde von Zemlinsky, su futura esposa. Esta pieza, concebida originalmente como Sexteto de cuerdas en un solo movimiento, fue arreglada por el compositor para orquesta de cuerdas en 1917, revisándola de nuevo en 1943.-

 ******************======================*******************

Transfigured Night (Verklärte Nacht) by Richard Dehmel

Two people walk through a bare, cold grove;
The moon races along with them, they look into it.
The moon races over tall oaks,
No cloud obscures the light from the sky,
Into which the black points of the boughs reach.
A woman’s voice speaks:

I’m carrying a child, and not yours,

I walk in sin beside you.
I have committed a great offense against myself.
I no longer believed I could be happy
And yet I had a strong yearning
For something to fill my life, for the joys of
Motherhood
And for duty; so I committed an effrontery,
So, shuddering, I allowed my sex
To be embraced by a strange man,
And, on top of that, I blessed myself for it.
Now life has taken its revenge:
Now I have met you, oh, you.

She walks with a clumsy gait,

She looks up; the moon is racing along.
Her dark gaze is drowned in light.
A man’s voice speaks:

May the child you conceived

Be no burden to your soul;
Just see how brightly the universe is gleaming!
There’s a glow around everything;
You are floating with me on a cold ocean,
But a special warmth flickers
From you into me, from me into you.
It will transfigure the strange man’s child.
You will bear the child for me, as if it were mine;
You have brought the glow into me,
You have made me like a child myself.

He grasps her around her ample hips.

Their breath kisses in the breeze.
Two people walk through the lofty, bright night.

 

Verklärte Nacht

Zwei Menschen gehn durch kahlen, kalten Hain; 
der Mond läuft mit, sie schaun hinein.
Der Mond läuft über hohe Eichen;
kein Wölkchen trübt das Himmelslicht,
in das die schwarzen Zacken reichen.
Die Stimme eines Weibes spricht:

 

Dehmel’s ‘Transfigured Night’

By Scott Horton

Gustav Klimt, Der Kuß (The Kiss) (1907-08)

Zwei Menschen gehn durch kahlen, kalten Hain;
der Mond läuft mit, sie schaun hinein.
Der Mond läuft über hohe Eichen;
kein Wölkchen trübt das Himmelslicht,
in das die schwarzen Zacken reichen.
Die Stimme eines Weibes spricht:


Ich trag ein Kind, und nit von Dir,
ich geh in Sünde neben Dir.
Ich hab mich schwer an mir vergangen.
Ich glaubte nicht mehr an ein Glück
und hatte doch ein schwer Verlangen
nach Lebensinhalt, nach Mutterglück
und Pflicht; da hab ich mich erfrecht,
da ließ ich schaudernd mein Geschlecht
von einem fremden Mann umfangen,
und hab mich noch dafür gesegnet.
Nun hat das Leben sich gerächt:
nun bin ich Dir, o Dir, begegnet.


Sie geht mit ungelenkem Schritt.
Sie schaut empor; der Mond läuft mit.
Ihr dunkler Blick ertrinkt in Licht.
Die Stimme eines Mannes spricht:


Das Kind, das Du empfangen hast,
sei Deiner Seele keine Last,
o sieh, wie klar das Weltall schimmert!
Es ist ein Glanz um alles her;
Du treibst mit mir auf kaltem Meer,
doch eine eigne Wärme flimmert
von Dir in mich, von mir in Dich.
Die wird das fremde Kind verklären,
Du wirst es mir, von mir gebären;
Du hast den Glanz in mich gebracht,
Du hast mich selbst zum Kind gemacht.


Er faßt sie um die starken Hüften.
Ihr Atem küßt sich in den Lüften.
Zwei Menschen gehn durch hohe, helle Nacht.


Two figures pass through the bare, cold grove;
the moon accompanies them, they gaze into it.
The moon races above some tall oaks;
No trace of a cloud filters the sky’s light,
into which the dark treetops stretch.
A female voice speaks:

I am carrying a child, and not yours;

I walk in sin beside you.
I have deeply sinned against myself.
I no longer believed in happiness
And yet was full of longing
For a life with meaning, for the joy
And duty of maternity; so I dared
And, quaking, let my sex
Be taken by a stranger,
And was blessed by it.
Now life has taken its revenge,
For now I have met you, yes you.
She takes an awkward step.

She looks up: the moon races alongside her.
Her dark glance is saturated with light.
A male voice speaks:
Let the child you have conceived

Be no trouble to your soul.
How brilliantly the universe shines!
It casts a luminosity on everything;
you float with me upon a cold sea,
but a peculiar warmth glimmers
from you to me, and then from me to you.
Thus is transfigured the child of another man;
You will bear it for me, as my own;
You have brought your luminosity to me,
You have made me a child myself.
He clasps her round her strong hips.

Their kisses mingle breath in the night air.
Two humans pass through the high, clear night.
 
Richard Dehmel, Verklärte Nacht first published in Weib und Welt (1896)(S.H. transl.)

Listen to Arnold Schönberg’s stunning instrumental realization of this poem in his sextet for two violins, 2 violas and 2 cellos, “Verklärte Nacht,” op. 4.

Richard Dehmel is an important figure of the German Symbolist period, associated with the aesthetics of the Jugendstil, but hardly known in the English-speaking world. His poetry is inventive and pushed the boundaries of the stifling morality of the Wilhelmine period that Nietzsche ridiculed so brilliantly. This may, thanks especially to Schönberg, be his best known work. It was published in a poetry collection from 1896 that also included Venus Consolatrix, whose erotic language was sufficient to rouse the censors. Richard Strauss, Max Reger, Kurt Weill and Alma Mahler-Werfel all also composed his poems as Lieder.
I have always thought that Gustav Klimt’s Der Kuß (The Kiss) (1907-08) was also inspired by this poem. Indeed the ties to it are very powerful. This may be Klimt’s best known painting, executed in an audaciously conceived manner. It does not reproduce well, and if you’re in Vienna, it is worth the trip to the Österreichische Galerie in the Belvedere Palace to see it. The background is a pale but complex metallic field which looks like bronze, with bursts that appear to signify stars, while the field surrounding the couple embracing is dazzling gold leaf. The masculine figure is decorated with austere black-and-white rectangles, while the female figure is covered with patches that look like millefiori Venetian paperweights, a profusion of springtime colors. The dramatic stylization of the surroundings contrasts sharply with the natural, highly erotic posture of the central characters. This seems a very conscious realization of the poem’s mysterious central line: “wie klar das Weltall schimmert!” (”how brilliantly the universe shines!”) The kiss itself is a representation of the poem’s final lines. The kiss is a passage of breath between two souls, an exchange which melds into the night air itself. This is the most enduring and fascinating of the transformations which are the poem’s subject, as well as Klimt’s painting and Schönberg’s strangely passionate music. Dehmel’s, Klimt’s and Schönberg’s works each stand alone and can be appreciated in their own right. Together, however, they make up a Gesamtkunstwerk in which the same thematic material is worked with equal genius in poetry, representational art and music.

 

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