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Klopstock: Das Rosenband

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Das Rosenband

Im Frühlingsschatten fand ich sie;
Da band ich sie mit Rosenbändern:
Sie fühlt' es nicht, und schlummerte.

Ich sah sie an; mein Leben hing
Mit diesem Blick' an ihrem Leben:
Ich fühlt' es wohl, und wußt' es nicht.

Doch lispelt' ich ihr sprachlos zu,
Und rauschte mit den Rosenbändern:
Da wachte sie vom Schlummer auf.

Sie sah mich an; ihr Leben hing
Mit diesem Blick' an meinem Leben,
Und um uns ward's Elysium.

The Chain of Roses

In the shadow of springtime I found her
and bound her with ribbons of roses.
She did not feel them and slept on.

I looked at her; my life hung
by this look on her life;
I felt it well and knew it not.

But wordlessly I whispered
and rustled the rosy ribbons;
so she awoke from her sleep.

She looked at me; her life hung
by this look on my life.
And around us there was Elysium.

In approaching this poem you might like to consider the following questions:

* How many individuals are involved in this poem (including the narrative voice or 'Ich' reciting it)?

* What is the 'action' of this poem? What events occur? (they might be quite simple)

* What kind of 'love' is being described in this poem? Fleeting momentary desire, or something longer term? Why do you say this?

* Which patterns of repeated words and images do you find in the poem? Does this have any effect on us as readers/ listeners?

* Why does Goethe chose to write about love in terms of a ribbon? And what does this 'ribbon' mean?

Performed by Christian Wewerka