Georg Trakl

(3 February 1887 - 3 November 1914 / Salzburg)

Winter Evening

Poem by Georg Trakl

When snow falls against the window,
Long sounds the evening bell...
For so many has the table
Been prepared, the house set in order.

From their wandering, many
Come on dark paths to this gateway.
The tree of grace is flowering in gold
Out of the cool sap of the earth.

In stillness, wanderer, step in:
Grief has worn the threshold into stone.
But see: in pure light, glowing
There on the table: bread and wine.

Comments about Winter Evening by Georg Trakl

  • Gray Mason (10/13/2018 9:05:00 AM)

    A choral group I sing with has commissioned a song for our group. We would like the composer to set this poem to music, but have no idea how to obtain permission to use the poem (or if it is indeed necessary) . I don't know what book it may be published in, nor do I know the translator. I have no idea where to start. Any ideas?(Report)Reply

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  • Peter Le Baige (3/14/2014 3:02:00 PM)

    Recommend anyone who likes this to read Martin Heidigger's essay 'Language'for its wonderful analysis of this poem.(Report)Reply

    Peter Le Baige(12/11/2016 2:54:00 PM)

    Hi Richer, many thanks for your reply to my comment. I actually wrote an entire poem cycle based on my understanding of Trakl's writing and which incorporates certain points of Heidigger's essay. Happy to send it to you if you're interested. I don't have it posted yet on my wrodpress site as yet, but you can read it here: http: //

    Richer CambridgeRicher Cambridge(12/11/2016 8:49:00 AM)

    Dear Peter, Poetry, Language, and Thought, which contains the essay, is one of my top-shelf books for inspiration as a writer, and it is where I discovered and fell in love with A Winter Evening. I often recite it when I do poetry readings. I'm a member of the New England Irish Harp Orchestra, and for our holiday/solstice concerts I recite it while one of the harpers plays Chant de Noel, a Cape Breton tune. People always come up to me afterwards, so moved by the poem, their faces radiant. There is something so very special, that reaches deep and way back, so ancient and timeless that speaks to the bonding and healing of community and welcoming the stranger.

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What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: grief, snow, house, tree, dark, light, winter, flower

Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004