Tagebuchblatt — Translated

Diary Page

A lantern’s light uncloaked
The darkness of the street.
A couple headed home.
I trailed, discreet.

Shrouded and morose,
Nearby gardens laced with dew.
Not a soul was close.
I followed you.

I couldn’t comprehend
Your fleeting, murmured words.
They slipped ’round the bend,
I overheard.

You didn’t disappear tonight,
I long to see your home!
Shied away and fearing sight,
I hid, alone.

Holding back–enough,
I saw you standing in the dawn.
The gate swung slowly shut.
I moved along.


The original, “Tagebuchblatt”, appears below. It was written in 1914 by my great-grandmother in Zürich. Discovered in a handwritten book nestled among poems with much more fanciful titles, it’s hard to tell if this work is entirely one of fiction. A literal translation didn’t capture the succinct beauty of the lines, nor the rhyme scheme.  So while this version is slightly extrapolated, I hope it at least conveys some of that feeling when I first laid eyes on my great-grandmother’s scrawled cursive.

About Felix Lipke

An inspirationed individual who hopes to be inspirationing to his future self and possibly other inspirationable inspirationees.
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