GER 341, 342, 343 HomepageOregon State University

GEORG TRAKL (1887-1914)

Biographie und Links zu Werken: Trakl

Ideas about Der Untergang

"This poem, from Trakl's middle period, is introduced as an example of the abstract manner in lyric poetry. It is no more interpretable in the usual sense (though of course it has ben "interpreted") than an abstraction by Klee or a mobile by Calder. Yet it is undeniably powerful. One cannot read it without being moved and without feeling a sense of impending doom. Its "difficulty," if one can speak of the poem in such terms, does not lie so much in the poem itself as in our unwillingness to accept the word without being able to discover a referent. All our habits demand that words mean something. The seems to be a poem in whcih words simply mean. Pure expressiveness = pur abstraction."

From: German Poety, a Critical Anthology. Robert M. Browning and Thomas Kerth, editors.