This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.



Saturday, 3 June 2017

Saturday Rave: Kolin, by Detlev von Liliencron

The Battle of Kolin took place in 1757 during the Seven Years' War. Detlev von Liliencron's poem about it, Wer weiss wo (Who knows where?) was written long afterwards in 1883, but the last thing it was, or is, is out-of-date.

Sometimes it takes the diminishing effect of distance to let you see things whole.

Liliencron wrote his poem in German. It begins:

Auf Blut und Leichen, Schutt und Qualm,
Auf rosszerstampften Sommerhalm
Die Sonne schien
Es sank die Nacht, Die Schlacht ist aus,
Und mancher kehrte nicht nach Haus
Einst von Kolin. 

On blood and corpses, debris and smoke,
On crushed and trodden summer grass
The sun was shining.
It sank the night. The battle was over,
And many did not return home
Again from Kolin.


Perhaps Liliencron's poem seems sentimental, now, but HERE you can find a marvellous...well, it's more of a reaction than a translation...to the poem by

It's well worth reading, especially to see how the story has cascaded and changed down the centuries from the terrible Battle of Kolin in 1757.

Word To Use Today: battle. This word comes from the Latin battālia, exercises performed by soldiers, from battuere, to beat.




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