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Text and Photos
"Water Songs and Water Landscapes"
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"Blumen in Wien"
"Winterreise with Photos"
"Winterreise with Photos"


Text: Wilhelm Müller and English Translation by Tomoko Yamamoto

Photos and Interpretation ©2017 Tomoko Yamamoto

Green Meadow, yellow flowers, Pegau, Saxony, Germany
Green Meadow, Pegau, Saxony, Germany, photo © 2017 Tomoko Yamamoto

Frühlingstraum: Photos and Interpretation

The poem of "Frühlingstraum" belongs to the first 12 poems Wilhelm Müller published. As I explored a way to interpret his poems in "Winterreise" I decided to look for some circumstances that gave him an opportunity to witness a phenomenon of nature that is described in "Winterreise."
Müller showed promise in schoolwork early on and his father decided to marry a rich widow so that he could give Müller a good education. That might mean that Müller may have been a bookish child and did not walk around in meadows as a young boy. His exposure to nature came because he volunteered to fight for the Prussians. The Battle of Großgörschen was the first battle after the King of Prussia declared war against Napoleon. That meant that for those volunteer soldiers like Müller, it was the first opportunity for night-time walk and bivouac.
When I read that the Prussian soldiers were marching from Rötha to Pegau, but they arrived in Audigast at 5 a.m. (see Leggiere, Michael for details) I thought of this poem of "Frühlingstraum" in which the poet talks about the early morning phenomenon, rooster's crying at dawn.

Therefore I originally tried to stay overnight in Audigast to see what Audigast would look like at 5 o'clock in the morning. But since I chose an early May date to travel, and did not plan to book a room in advance, I was refused a room in Audigast when I went there. But I had the luck of hearing a rooster there. So I knew there are roosters in the area.
I walked to Pegau from Audigast because the next bus would not come for a while. As a result I saw a lot of meadows. In Pegau I was able to find a room by walking form one end of the town to the other. This gave me an opportunity to spot the Carsdorferstraße.
I got a local map of the Pegau Plan when I stopped by a service station, so I then knew there is the Carsdorfer Höhe from the local map. When I found the Carsdorferstraße, I chose to walk along to get to the Carsdorfer Höhe because Michael Leggiere wrote that Carsdorf has disappeared through the suburbanization. As I walked up to the Carsdorfer Höhe, I found a poultry farm along the Carsdorferstraße. On my way back from the Carsdorfer Höhe, I decided to take a photo of a rooster.
Rooster, Hahn, Pegau
"Als die Hähne krähten" Pegau © 2017 Tomoko Yamamoto
Pegau Garden
"Ich träumte von bunten Blumen" Pegau ©2017 Tomoko Yamamoto
I got a photo of "Bunten Blumen" by noting that garden flowers in early May are of varied colors since many different flowers bloom all at once. I learned this when I moved from Ann Arbor, Michigan to Ithaca, New York. This does not happen in a warmer climate.

Leggiere, Michael v. , Napoleon and the Struggle for Germany : The Franco-Prussian War of 1813 Vol. 1 The War of Liberation, Spring 1813. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 2015 Chapter 5, Großgörschen
von Borries, Erika, Wilhelm Müller, Der Dichter der << Winterreise >> Eine Biographie. Verlag C. H. Beck oHG, München, Deutschland 2007
Topographische Karte 1:50000, Blatt L4938 Zeitz, Landesamt für Vermessung und Geoinformation, Sachsen-Anhalt

Keywords: Grüne Wiesen, Bunten Blumen, Hähne krähten, Pegau, Audigast, The War of Liberation, Winterreise, Frühlingstraum, rooster, Hahn
First published: August 23, 2017
Last Update: November 21, 2017