The one-eyed singer, songwriter, and knight errant Oswald von Wolkenstein (surname
literally “Cloud-Stone”) was among the last of the great troubadours. A contemporary
of Villon, versed in Petrarch, and a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre, Wolkenstein was lost
to history until scholarship in the 1970s recognized him as the German language’s first
genuinely autobiographical lyric voice. In the hands of the magician-translator Richard
Sieburth, working in the spirited tradition of Ezra Pound and Paul Blackburn, Wolkenstein’s verse rises from the page like a medieval Bob Dylan. Facsimiles of Wolkenstein’s
musical compositions are included.
About the Author
Oswald von Wolkenstein (1376/7–1445) is seen as one of the most important composer-versifiers of the German Renaissance, and for many years served as a diplomat and military commander to Emperor Sigismund.
Award-winning translator, scholar, and essayist Richard Sieburth has translated books by Henri Michaux, Friedrich Hölderlin, Louise Labé, Gérard de Nerval, and Nostradamus.
Siegfried Walter de Rachewiltz is an acclaimed museum director, teacher, ethnologist, and the grandson of Ezra Pound.
The persona presented in these poems is erratic, self-deprecating, cantankerous and roguish. — Times Literary Supplement