Kuno Raeber

October 12, 2011 Raeber Kuno



Over the grave the bird will

set one white

stone upon another.

The woman buried won’t

see the columns of cries upon which

the bird settles

at last and spreads its wings

out stiffly so that

the winds do skim but

never shift them.





Über dem Grab wird der Vogel
einen weißen
Schreistein auf den anderen setzen.
Die Begrabene wird
die Schreisäule nicht sehen, auf der
am Ende der Vogel
sich niederläßt und seine Flügel
steif breitet, damit
die Winde sie streifen zwar, aber
niemals verrücken.




Translator: Stuart Friebert, founder of Oberlin’s Writing Program, co-founder of Field, the Field Translation Series, & Oberlin College Press, has published eight volumes of translations, as well as a dozen books of his own poems.


Poet Kuno Raeber (1922-1992) was a student of theology, philosophy, history, literature, and mythology, who also studied for the priesthood; but he would lose his faith after a deep spiritual crisis, though the images of his religious upbringing never left him. They were instead transformed into metaphors that blend Christian imagery with a broader mystical tradition to celebrate the power of poetic creation. An early member of Gruppe 47, he spent some anxious years working past “the noise” until emerging as an original in his own right, who lived and wrote by his own lights.