Songs from the Gallows: Galgenlieder

Overview

Christian Morgenstern (1871-1914) was a German poet, theosophist, and translator whose nonsense poems have been among the best-known and best-loved works in Germany throughout this century. Often compared to the drolleries of Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear, Morgenstern's poems are whimsical yet haunting, a rare blend of humor and odd metaphysical intimations. Morgenstern wrote the first of his Golgenlieder after he and some friends had returned from a carefree outing past Gallows Hill near Potsdam and formed a ...
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Overview

Christian Morgenstern (1871-1914) was a German poet, theosophist, and translator whose nonsense poems have been among the best-known and best-loved works in Germany throughout this century. Often compared to the drolleries of Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear, Morgenstern's poems are whimsical yet haunting, a rare blend of humor and odd metaphysical intimations. Morgenstern wrote the first of his Golgenlieder after he and some friends had returned from a carefree outing past Gallows Hill near Potsdam and formed a "fraternal order of the gallows." His collection, published in Germany between 1905 and 1916, eventually comprised 286 poems. This new edition is a bilingual selection of some 90 poems from the original work. The reader is introduced to inventions like the clock that moves slowly or quickly as its sympathy for the clock watcher dictates; the luncheon newspaper that, when read, also satisfies one's hunger, the mail that is sent from a vacation retreat on the antlers or tails of bucks. To translate Morgenstern is a daunting task, and Walter Arndt has succeeded brilliantly, following the poet's verbal acrobatics, his phonetic, semantic, and syntactic play with words and clauses, and, where possible, his trick of stripping discourse of conventions and pretensions by a bizarre literal interpretation of conventional phrases and metaphors. His translation of Morgenstern's poems of nonsense, or "supersense," will be treasured by scholars of the German lyric and by children of all ages.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300052787
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/1993
  • Pages: 158

Table of Contents

Foreword
The Moonsheep 3
The Funnels 5
Fish's Night Song 6
The Knee 7
The Sigh 8
Ding, Dong, Bong 9
The Euphonic Mutt 11
The Worm's Confession 12
The Midnight Mouse 13
The Cultist 14
The Two Donkeys 15
Water 16
The Air 17
The Board Fence 18
The Two Bottles 20
The Lay of the Khaki Cork 21
The Die 22
The Old and Young Pretenders 24
Oirish Flood 25
The Nasodary 27
Antology 28
The Hystrix 30
Testing 32
By the Year Ten Thousand 34
The Gi . . . ant . . . Turtle 36
Gull Song 37
Roots 38
Palmstrom 41
Village in Thrace 43
Norard 44
Sleep before Midnight 46
The Ball Game 47
Bona Fide 48
Animal Costumes 49
The Korf Clock 51
Palmstrom's Clock 52
Korf's Olfaction 53
Palmstrom to a Nightingale Who Robs Him of Sleep 54
The Coat at Night 55
Alpinism 56
Korf's Drivel-Shrivel 57
The Luncheon Gazette 59
The Alum Tree 60
Delayed Action Jokes 62
The Spaced-Out Watch 63
Heavy Air 64
The Impossible Event 65
Wrong Address 67
Metaphor 69
Two Parties 70
Palma Kunkel 75
The Book Label 76
Saving Breath 77
Deer Mail 78
The Parrot 79
"Polly" 80
Pollo 81
The Tomcat 82
Peke's Peak 83
The Milestone 84
Telescopy 86
The Unicorn 87
The Lox 88
The Raven 90
Enquiry about the Foregoing 91
The Sandwich Bag, or Spontaneous Gestation Blighted 93
The Mouse-Eye 96
Fate 97
The Sparrow and the Kangaroo 98
The Canceled Buck 100
Parable 102
The Jagua 104
The Birth of Philosophy 105
The Two Parallels 106
Memorial 108
The Esthete 113
St. Oopsadaise 114
Inshallah and Mashallah 116
The Sniffle 118
Kitchen Debate 119
Strictly Punctuation 120
The Camelepard 123
Letter from Mrs. Davy Jones 125
Little Legends of the Devil 127
Signboards 129
Subdivision 130
Scholastic Conundrum I 132
Scholastic Conundrum II 133
The Lambkin Cloud 134
The Werwolf 136
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