Four Translated Gerhard Fritsch Poems

1 August 2017

Gerhard Fritsch (1924—1969) began publishing poetry and literary criticism after his service in WWII. He also authored two novels; the first, Moos auf den Steinen (Moss on the Stones 1956), followed standard conventions of realism, while the second, Fasching (Carnival 1969), with its fierce indictment of Austrian complicity and its stylistic concentration, reflected the personal and artistic upheaval Fritsch passed through during his tragically short lifetime. Fritsch took his own life in 1969, just five days before his 45th birthday.

Parting in November

Don’t take the silence
out of the morning fog;
the train platform is
talking quite enough:
the poster for Venice in September,
the pungent soft brown-coal smoke
and the obtrusive heartache
of a withered vine
of wild grapes.


Abschied im November Nimm nicht das Schweigen aus dem Nebel des Morgens, der Bahnsteig redet genug: das Plakat vom September in Venedig, der scharfe Braunkohlenrauch und die aufdringliche Wehmut einer vertrockneten Ranke wilden Weins.
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