Saturday, December 24, 2011

Husum - Die Stadt


The best descriptions of Husum and North Friesland can be found in the writings of Theodor Sturm, 1817 - 1888. Sturm was a native of Husum and his many stories, poems, and novellas take place in North Friesland. He writes of the greyness of the weather, the austere beauty of its expansive mudflats, barren pastures, and treeless plains, and finally the menacing sea which is always a threat to existence.

The World of Theodor Storm is an excellent resource for his life and works, as well as a good description of Husum and the North Friesland coast. Die Stadt by Storm describes his feelings to the town of Husum where he grew up.

Die Stadt

Am grauen Strand, am grauen Meer
Und seitab liegt die Stadt;
Der Nebel drückt die Dächer schwer,
Und durch die Stille braust das Meer
Eintönig um die Stadt.

By the grey Shore, on the grey Sea
At the seaside lies the Town;
The Fog presses upon the roofs heavily,
And through the quiet roars the Sea
Its steady beat upon the Town.

Es rauscht kein Wald, es schlägt im Mai
Kein Vogel ohn Unterlaß;
Die Wandergans mit hartem Schrei
Nur fliegt in Herbstesnacht vorbei,
Am Strande weht das Gras.

No forest stirs, in May
Each bird chatters incessantly
The wandering goose with its harsh Cry
Flies off only in the autumn night,
While on Shore the blades of grass wave goodby.

Doch hängt mein ganzes Herz an dir,
Du graue Stadt am Meer;
Der Jugend Zauber für und für
Ruht lächelnd doch auf dir, auf dir,
Du graue Stadt am Meer.

On that and you all my heart doth lie,
The grey Town on the Sea;
Of the Magic of Youth by and by
Rests smiling yet, on you, on you,
The grey Town by the Sea.

My translation of Theodor Storm's The Town.

No comments:

Post a Comment