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This poem is taken from PN Review 148, Volume 29 Number 2, November - December 2002.

Six Poems (translated by Sean Haldane) Wilhelm Lehmann


An Meinen Ältesten Sohn/To My Eldest Son (1923)

The winter lime, the summer lime
Flower apart -
The song comes to an end, my son,
In the between-time.

The swallow-root draws chalk out of the hill
With white teeth,
Through the earth I can see it
Dark beneath.

On the grey stone, streaks of rain run -
The last note
Of the song is caught in the gold-bunting's throat.
Sing it, my son.


An Einer Flöter Blasenden Freund/To a Flute-Playing Friend (1928)

In the air sounding from the flute
Your clever mouth controls,
Heavy stones are light and swift birds still
At your breath's enchanting will.
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