Georg Trakl

(3 February 1887 - 3 November 1914 / Salzburg)

The Dead Church - Poem by Georg Trakl

On dark benches they sit packed

And lift extinguished looks

To the cross. The lights gleam as if covered,

And cloudy and as if covered the head of wounds.

The incense rises from a golden vessel

To the height, dying songs

Exhale, and as if afflicted the room dusks

Uncertainly and sweet. The priest strides

Before the altar; but, he practices the pious rites

With tired spirit - a miserable player

Before bad prayers with numb hearts,

In soulless play with bread and wine.

The bell sounds! The lights flicker more cloudily -

And paler, as if covered the head of wounds!

The organ hisses! In dead hearts memory

shudders on! A bleeding countenance of pain

Wraps itself in darkness and the despair

Stares after him in the emptiness from many eyes.

And one who sounded like all voices,

Sobs - meanwhile the horror grew in the room,

The death-horror grew: Have mercy on us -


Comments about The Dead Church by Georg Trakl

  • (5/30/2018 7:22:00 AM)

    In Paris- Waiting for a friend at Pompidou Place- -I noticed it was the hour Christ died on the cross on
    Good Friday. So I slipped into the large church and found it empty. I couldn't stop my self from reassuring
    Christ on the Cross. Then I noticed one man on a cell phone- he was making a drug deal.
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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 6, 2012

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