07 April 2012

The Easter Walk

There are certain moments from my childhood, that I will never forget. It's sweet memories and they make me all warm inside. Though Christmas is still one of my favorite memories, Easter could be right behind it....

It seems that Easter is not a big deal here in America. So far, I don't have a specific time that is dear to my heart - YET! I DO want to change that. I DO want my kids to remember Easter as family time with family traditions, not just Easter egg hunts and Easter service in church. Not that it is not important to teach them what Easter really means - believe me, Coqui's schooling this week was heavy on the Easter story! But it is also a time for family.

So my family would gather together, usually on Saturday or Sunday, though there was not a set day for this, and we would read this poem written by, probably, THE most famous German writer. It's Goethe, who wrote Faust. Now, I think most of you have at least heard of him. So in the book Faust, there is a poem called "The Easter Walk". It's a beautiful poem that we all read, one after the other. After sooooo many years, I can still recite it by heart. So today, I wanted to share that with you, first in German, in it's original language, and then I found a translation online  - so you would understand what it means.

Vor dem Tor

Vom Eise befreit sind Strom und Bäche
Durch des Frühlings holden, belebenden Blick,
Im Tale grünet Hoffnungsglück;
Der alte Winter, in seiner Schwäche,
Zog sich in rauhe Berge zurück.
Von dort her sendet er, fliehend, nur
Ohnmächtige Schauer körnigen Eises
In Streifen über die grünende Flur.
Aber die Sonne duldet kein Weißes,
Überall regt sich Bildung und Streben,
Alles will sie mit Farben beleben;
Doch an Blumen fehlts im Revier,
Sie nimmt geputzte Menschen dafür.
Kehre dich um, von diesen Höhen
Nach der Stadt zurück zu sehen!
Aus dem hohlen finstern Tor
Dringt ein buntes Gewimmel hervor.
Jeder sonnt sich heute so gern.
Sie feiern die Auferstehung des Herrn,
Denn sie sind selber auferstanden:
Aus niedriger Häuser dumpfen Gemächern,
Aus Handwerks- und Gewerbesbanden,
Aus dem Druck von Giebeln und Dächern,
Aus der Straßen quetschender Enge,
Aus der Kirchen ehrwürdiger Nacht
Sind sie alle ans Licht gebracht.
Sieh nur, sieh! wie behend sich die Menge
Durch die Gärten und Felder zerschlägt,
Wie der Fluß in Breit und Länge
So manchen lustigen Nachen bewegt,
Und, bis zum Sinken überladen,
Entfernt sich dieser letzte Kahn.
Selbst von des Berges fernen Pfaden
Blinken uns farbige Kleider an.
Ich höre schon des Dorfs Getümmel,
Hier ist des Volkes wahrer Himmel,
Zufrieden jauchzet groß und klein:
Hier bin ich Mensch, hier darf ichs sein!
(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust I)

From Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: "Faust", translation by Edgar Alfred Bowring, 1853

From the ice they are freed, the stream and brook,
By the Spring's enlivening, lovely look;
The valley's green with joys of hope;
The Winter old and weak ascends
Back to the rugged mountain slope.

From there, as he flees, he downward sends
An impotent shower of icy hail
Streaking over the verdant vale.
Ah! but the Sun will suffer no white,

Growth and formation stir everywhere,
'Twould fain with colours make all things bright,

Though in the landscape are no blossoms fair.
Instead it takes gay-decked humanity.

Now turn around and from this height,
Looking backward, townward see.

Forth from the cave-like, gloomy gate
Crowds a motley and swarming array.

Everyone suns himself gladly today.
The Risen Lord they celebrate,

For they themselves have now arisen
From lowly houses' mustiness,
From handicraft's and factory's prison,
From the roof and gables that oppress,

From the bystreets' crushing narrowness,
From the churches' venerable night,
They are all brought out into light.
See, only see, how quickly the masses
Scatter through gardens and fields remote;
How down and across the river passes
So many a merry pleasure-boat.

And over-laden, almost sinking,
The last full wherry moves away.
From yonder hill's far pathways blinking,
Flash to us colours of garments gay.

Hark! Sounds of village joy arise;
Here is the people's paradise,

Contented, great and small shout joyfully:
"Here I am Man, here dare it to be!"
HAPPY EASTER from my family to yours!


C. Beth said...

Happy Easter!

I like the new look of your blog!