Saturday, June 28, 2014

Nature Poetry

Rudolf Baumbach (1840-1905)
Die Gäste der Buche

Mietegäste vier im Haus
hat die alte Buche:
Tief im Keller wohnt die Maus,
nagt am Hungertuche.
Stolz auf seinen roten Rock
und gesparten Samen,
sitzt ein Protz im ersten Stock;
Eichhorn ist sein Namen.
Weiter oben hat der Specht
seine Werkstatt liegen,
hackt und hämmert kunstgerecht,
dass die Späne fliegen.
Auf dem Wipfel im Geäst
pfeift ein winzig kleiner
Musikante froh im Nest.
Miete zahlt nicht einer.

I remember learning this poem by heart and drawing the illustrations for my grandfather's seventieth birthday. I was 8 then and growing up in Germany. Today, I could still remember most of the verses, surprisingly, and google came to my help for the rest. The poem is about an old Beech Tree and the animals making it their home. Mouse and squirrel, woodpecker and warbler ...  Beech forest is the climax plant society of the Westfalian  low land where we lived and where I spent most of my free time exploring the forest. The poem reflects a romantic love for nature but also some ecological understanding. But translated into English it just sounds corny, so I won't even try. 
But, now living in Tucson, Arizona, I feel very much reminded of that childhood poem when I watch the coming and going of birds, squirrels, insects and reptiles in and around our big 'house saguaro' that so many animals rely on for food and nest sites. 

1 comment:

  1. You could create a new one for your habitat! Gee, what rhymes with Saguaro?