Trakl's poetry wells up. They conclude, and also carry, the "tranfiguration." The song is lyric, tragedy, and epic all in one. This poem is unique among them all, because in it the breadth of vision, the depth of thought, and the simplicity of saying shine intimate and everlasting, ineffably.
Pain is truly pain only when it serves the flame of the spirit. Trakl's last poem is called "Grodek." It has been much praised as a war poem. But it is infinitely more, because it is something other. Its final lines (193) are:
Today a gnat pain feeds the hot flame of the spirit,
The grandsons yet unborn.
These "grandsons" are not the unbegotten sons of the sons killed in battle, the progeny of the decaying generation. If that were all, merely an end to the procreation of earlier generations, our poet would have to rejoice over such an end. But he grieves, though with a "prouder grief' that flamingly contemplates the peace of the unborn.
The unborn are called grandsons because they cannot be sons, that is, they cannot be the immediate descendants of the generation that has gone to ruin. Another generation Jives between these two. It is other, for it is of another kind in keeping with its different essential origin in the earliness of what is still unborn. The "mighty pain" is the beholding vision whose flames envelop everything, and which looks ahead into the still-withdrawing earliness of yonder dead one toward whom the "ghosts" of early victims have died.
But who guards this mighty pain, that it may feed the hot flame of the spirit( Whatever is akin to this spirit is of the kind that starts man on the way. Whatever is akin to this spirit is called "ghostly." And thus the poet must call "ghostly" the twilight, the night, and the years-these above all and these alone. The twilight makes the blue of night to rise, inflames it. Night flames as the shining mirror of the starry pond. The year inflames by starting the sun's course on its way, its risings and its settings.
What spirit is it from which this "ghostliness" awakens and