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Walser / Hamburger

choice of these verses – following on from his setting of Höölderlin’s late verse – also mainly occasional – his SCARDANELLI. (When asked in his asylum years whether he was still writing, Walser replied: ‘I’m here not to write but to be mad’ – a very sane and sensible answer.)


I take my daily walk; this leads not far or wide and home; then without talk or sound I’m put aside.


It’s snowing, snowing, covers the earth all round with a heavy mound, so wide, so wide.

So sorely it staggers down from the sky, this whirl all away, the snow, the snow.

This gives you, oh, an enlargement, a rest, this world by whiteness oppressed makes me weak.

So small at first, then great, my yearning turns to hot tears that invade me, burning.

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