Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Theodor Storm's advertisement to an honorable young gentleman

July, by Theodor Storm

Sounds in wind a lullaby
sun shines warmly from the sky,
heavy ears bend down the corn,
berries ripen on the thorn,
fields with richest blessing teems -
young woman, tell me what you dream.

tr. J. W. Thomas, in German Poetry from 1750 to 1900 (1984), Continuum Press.

Looking at the German, those berries are red, and that young woman could be a young wife. Since there is no single collection of Theodor Storm's poems in translation, I have been reading them in anthologies like The Penguin Book of German Verse and this volume of the German Library.

A lot of Storm poems sound a lot like this one. Short, sweet, a little mysterious. But what's this?

August - Advertisement

Of the honourable young gentleman who this year
May be considering the theft of apples and pears that are mine
I respectfully request that during this amusement,
As far as it is possible they will themselves confine,
Not entering the beds nearby, please,
To avoid trampling down my plants and peas.

tr. Frances Sturmer-Robb, in Anthology of German Poetry Through the 19th Century (1964), Frederick Ungar Publishing Co.

A good poem, that's what.


  1. Hey, I've decided that Wednesday will be poetry day at my blog. If you're publishing poetry on Wednesday's do you want to do link exchanges or a Mr. Linky?

  2. Good idea, OohBooks, but it's just a coincidence that I put up poems this Wednesday. I can't break up the week like that. It would destroy my carefully crafted Wuthering Expectations weeklong clishmaclavers.

    But I've got your blog in my reader, so I'll keep an eye on what you're doing and see if I can fit something in amidst my usual nonsense.

  3. That's a nice little gem. I like both of them, actually.

  4. "I like both of them, actually."

    Yeah, me too.