I am lost to the world

During the summers of 1901 and 1902, Gustav Mahler set to music five poems by the German Romantic poet Friedrich Rückert. Mahler identified strongly with the poem, saying that it expressed his very self.

Many consider “I am lost to the world”, as Mahlers greatest song, one of his most profound and moving works and was of immense personal significance for Mahler.

Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen

Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen,
Mit der ich sonst viele Zeit verdorben,
Sie hat so lange nichts von mir vernommen,
Sie mag wohl glauben, ich sei gestorben!

Es ist mir auch gar nichts daran gelegen,
Ob sie mich für gestorben hält,
Ich kann auch gar nichts sagen dagegen,
Denn wirklich bin ich gestorben der Welt.

Ich bin gestorben dem Weltgetümmel,
Und ruh’ in einem stillen Gebiet!
Ich leb’ allein in meinem Himmel,
In meinem Lieben, in meinem Lied!

Friedrich Rückert (1788-1866)

I am lost to the world
with which I used to waste so much time,
It has heard nothing from me for so long
that it may very well believe that I am dead!

It is of no consequence to me
Whether it thinks me dead;
I cannot deny it,
for I really am dead to the world.

I am dead to the world’s tumult,
And I rest in a quiet realm!
I live alone in my heaven,
In my love and in my song!

About Michaela

I am a wanderer and a wonderer, like you are. I love our journey and to walk in the company of friends – to learn, experience, share, laugh, cry and above all I simply love this marvelous, magical, mysterious life. I have no plan (cannot believe I am saying this) and my only intention is to be truthful to myself and others.
This entry was posted in Classical Music, Music & Movies and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to I am lost to the world

  1. Daniel Dennis says:

    Glorious simplicity of an attitude of returning Camus’ view of “the benign indifference of the universe.” I heard this verse only this afternoon on Australia’s superb Late Night Live program on Radio National, part of a discussion on poetry and meaning, and am delighted to have found the words here. Thank you.

  2. I heard this music in “Berlin Babylon” ep 3, and it’s nice to find the translation. Thank you.

  3. Patricia Higgins says:

    This is so moving, it’s sad but also inspiring as it reminds me not to be swept along in the madness of modern life

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