SIGN IN to access Harper’s Magazine
1. Sign in to Customer Care using your account number or postal address.
2. Select Email/Password Information.
3. Enter your new information and click on Save My Changes.
Subscribers can find additional help here. Not a subscriber? Subscribe today!
for Bessie Loos
Truly he loved the sun, as it descended in purple from the hill
The paths in the woods, the singing blackbird
And the joy of the green.
He lived solemnly in the shadow of the tree
And his countenance was pure.
God spoke a tender flame unto his heart:
Quietly he walked his way to the city in the evening;
The dark complaint fell from his mouth:
I want to be a rider.
But he was followed by bush and animal,
A house and a twilight garden with pale people
His murderer sought after him.
Spring and summer and a beautiful autumn
Of the righteous one, so soft his step
Drawing to the darkened rooms of the sleeping.
At night he remained alone with his star;
He saw the snow fall on bare branches
And in the fading light of the entrance way the shadow of the murderer.
In silver sank the unborne’s head.
–Georg Trakl, Kaspar Hausers Lied from Sebastian im Traum (1915) in: Georg Trakl Dichtungen und Briefe: historisch-kritische Ausgabe, vol. 1, p. 95 (S.H. transl.)
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
Number of U.S. congressional districts in which trade with China has produced more jobs than it has cost:
Young bilingual children who learned one language first are likelier than monolingual children and bilingual children who learned languages simultaneously to say that a dog adopted by owls will hoot.
An Oklahoma legislative committee voted to defund Advanced Placement U.S. History courses, accusing the curriculum of portraying the United States as “a nation of oppressors and exploiters.”
Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!
“He could be one of a million beach-bound, black-socked Florida retirees, not the man who, by some odd happenstance of life, possesses the brain of Albert Einstein — literally cut it out of the dead scientist's head.”