The Viennese poet Hugo von Hofmannsthal (1874-1929) is perhaps best known outside the German-speaking countries as the librettist of many Strauß operas, notably Der Rosenkavalier. What's less well know is that he also wrote some of the most beautiful and haunting poems in the German language. My favorite is his Vorfrühling (Early Spring), which is one of the three German poems I love most. Here it is, together with a prose line-by-line translation by me.
In response to a reader's comment, I've added since a second poem by Hoffmannsthal at that link, Reiselied (Travel Song).
1 day ago