Before I was and when my existence

ends, how was, how shall I be? Delusions

and smells do at times with apparitions

keep from start to finish in insistence.


Have I been sleeping? I’ll just go to sleep,

and now me does another sense command;

I am still outside, but it’s in I stand,

And I know it now, I settle in deep.


That thing there calls like it I’ve often found

and this one here looks like a versant tone

and on the walls waxing are hues and sound.


There, my son unborn bides in the ready,

here envisaged my fated bride-to-be,

and what I was then, I am already.


Karl Kraus

Translated by Peter Winslow



Source text


Kraus, K. “Halbschlaf.” Die Fackel. Nos. 474-483 (1918): 81. Print.