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The Aare at Muri

There is a beautiful river running along the borders of our village, the Aare, where we like to go for a walk. I love the scenery of sublime beauty and also like swimming there in summer. For me the river is full of spiritual symbolism.

Two weeks ago I saw a note in our local information paper of our village calling upon the inhabitants to hand in photos and texts about the Aare river for an exposition next summer “Art at the Water”, for which they also plan to release a photo book. I had a look through my collection of photos and sent them a selection. Early one morning I also wrote a poem which I now tried to translate. Here it goes, followed by some impressions

The Aare at Muri

Though you pay us only a short visit
on your journey
from the snow mountains in the background
passing on to the capital
and further on to more distant destinations,
you give us a loving smile,
youthful Aare,
when you come in through under the old wooden bridge
and pass along the pools,
to take again your leave
with a long curve towards Berne.
Sometimes, a bit vain,
you seem to change nearly daily your colourful clothes.
You friendly greet joggers, strollers with their dogs,
rejoice at the lovers.
And during summer days
boats pass by with you
and you refresh us bathers
with your cool-tickling energy,
grant us a little paradise of rest,
into which the villas on the slope
look down through the trees.
And from the other side
roaring iron birds rise into the sky.
Children throw pebbles, laughing,
while fires are burning on the banks
and surfers stand for a short time in your waters.
They feel a little of your power,
which sometimes you suddenly reveal,
when you leave your banks
and carve your way through the valley,
wildly roaring,
sweeping trees away with you,
reminding us of your wild origin.
But mostly your are more silent,
like wrapped in thoughts,
in your meditation
about grey-blue-greenish colours.
And the ferryman reminds you of the
Siddhartha of an eastern world.
Do you dream already here
of your release
into the boundless realms
of the far ocean?

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