Theodor Storm: “The Town”

This poem is the only one by Theodor Storm I ever translated, and I did so spurred on by nostalgia for my own hometown, which the poem reminded me of.

I never would have dreamt that this small translation would go on to be one of my most read pieces of all time.

However, many people besides me have obviously found the poem moving – so here you go: My translation of Theodor Storm: “Die Stadt”

the youthful magic through and through
rests smilingly on you, on you,
you grey town by the sea.

Theodor Storm: The Town

At greyish beach, by greyish sea
and off track lies the town;
the darkness press roofs heavily
and through the silence roars the sea
monotone through the town.

Here sighs no wood, nor sings nearby
the birds in month of May;
the wandering geese with their sharp cry
alone in harvest nights pass by,
on the beach grasses sway.

Still clings all of my heart to you,
you grey town by the sea;
the youthful magic through and through
rests smilingly on you, on you,
you grey town by the sea.

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