PHASES OF LYRIC POETRY 421 river shadowed black by a primeval forest; a long white eel glides over her breasts; she dreams of a crimson kiss; she floats on past the din of cities and factories - through all eternity. Another theme (probably from Maeterlinck's Serres chaudes} is that of the hospital (DasFieberspital}. The general impression of Heym's poetry is that of boyish elaboration of the macabre. But details - glimpses in gloom - have the phosphorescence of fine poetry. GEORG TRAKL (1887-1914) was a dispensing chemist in Salzburg who went mad and poisoned himself after a battle on the eastern front. He is a poet of country life, but as such glaringly impres- sionistic; e.g. Herbstseele: Jdgerruf und Slutgebell; Hinter Kreu^ und braunem Hugel Blindet sacht der Wasserspiegel, Schreit der Habicht hart und helL Uber Stoppelfeld und Pfad Banget schon ein schwar^es Schmigen; Reiner fiimmel in den Zweigen; Nur der ~Bach rinnt still und stad. The first general impression on reading TrakPs verse (Gedichte> 1913; Die Dichtungen, 1917; Gesamtausgabe, Vol. i 1949, Vol. 2 1950; Aus goldnem Kelch, 1939) is that it is schon dagewesen\ these softly wreathed, faintly fading1 rhythms with their sensuous varia- tion of vowels (e.g. 'wenn verfalien derkalte Monderscheinf] read like a blending of Klopstock and Holderlin, and the sense may be even more nebulous. But there is a corpse-like mellowness in this verse which is strange to the masculine melancholy of Klopstock and the clean ephebe's vision of Holderlin: Trakl is a decadent ten years after his time, as Baudelairian - and to the verge of nausea - as Heym is Rimbaud-like. It is only necessary to read a few poems to fix the origins and the method. The main influence is that of Maeterlinck's Serres chaudes \ there is the same incongruous enu- meration of details (the technique of seventeenth-century German verse) which fuse to no composite picture but leave an impression of the motley disorder of the world presenting itself as the reality it is to the heightened poetic hearing and vision of a madman; there is no sense in it save to the senseless; and how the magic 1 'verweht und matt*.