Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sehnsucht for Tots

I know something about longing, especially about longing for a past that may have never been what I now imagine it to be; I know reasonably well the dull ache for people and places gone forever, even when that longing is ontologically misplaced. I know all this not only from my own long and neurotic experience, but also from my schooling in the soundtrack of German romanticism, in which the keenest longing -- Sehnsucht -- is a guiding ethos.

My new son wakes up in the middle of the night and cries for hours and will not be consoled. My husband suggested that he, too, knows Sehnsucht. The present is better than the often-idealized past, but it's hard to explain that to a post-institutionalized, pre-verbal toddler in culture shock.

So this goes out to Jude; music by Schubert, text by Goethe:


Over all the hilltops
is calm.
In all the treetops
you feel
hardly a breath of air.
The little birds fall silent in the woods.
Just wait: soon
you too will rest.

3 comments:

Sheila said...

I pray he may sleep soon.

And thank you for sharing the word, which I read years ago but had forgotten.

And for the music!

Melanie B said...

Anthony was transfixed by the music. Me, I'm in tears. Prayers for Jude that his yearning heart will heal.

Pentimento said...

Thank you, ladies!