Thursday 22 October 2009

Returning To The Strudlhof Steps

On the Strudlhof Steps in Vienna
When the leaves upon the steps are lying
from the old stairs is heard an autumn sighing
of all that's gone across them in the past

A moon in which a couple, holding fast,
embraces, lightweight shoes and heavy footfall
the mossed urn in the middle, by the wall,
outlasts the year between the wars and dying.

So much is past and gone, to our dismay,
And beauty shows the frailest power to stay.

"On the Strudlhof Steps in Vienna"
Poem by Heimito von Doderer
Quoted from his 1951 novel "The Strudlhof Steps"
Translation by Vincent Kling © 1974

Chestnut Leaf
Holding on to fountain rim
The Strudlhof Steps
9th District

Images by Merisi
© October 2009


  1. The Strudlhof Steps ....
    Less than a week has passed since I last visited them and I am already longing for them again. You wouldn't believe how often I have hurried, walked a little faster, just to steal the time to enjoy that magic walk down and up again. They have healing power, I am sure!

    I have linked all pictures to previous posts. So, if you are willing to take a few steps yourself, pull on your boots and click on the images and walk with me. Not that my images could ever do justice to these magnificent steps, but if you are ready to add a bit of your imagination, the magic should work!


  2. Love the chestnut leaf in the last photo -- the juxtaposition of long-lasting stone, ephemeral leaf, and the eternal, ever-changing water

  3. Here for my daily 'breathing space' again..your blog is positively therapeutic....Vicki, above, said everything I wanted to say about that last photo.

  4. I like the fountain head very much!

  5. old it may be, filled with history definately, yet age has certainly not diminished its beauty!

  6. Those steps absolutely beckon one to climb.

  7. There's always something a bit surreal about these kinds of fountains. almost dreamlike. IT's hard to describe.

  8. I love your blog, Merisi! You allow me travel in a year I must stay home. The face at the fountain is fabulous.

  9. What a beautiful poem. Wish the leaves lay thick on the steps and brought the seasons to the stones.

  10. @ Vicki Lane,
    yes, that leaf hanging on for dear life was inspiring too.

    @ Wurst Semmel,
    you make my day, thank you! :-)

    @ simon,
    the way the hair falls remind me
    of the way a dried chestnut leaf curls up.

    @ Shadow,
    certainly true,
    and the fact that the steps have undergone a year-long renovation effort has helped too.

  11. @Arkansas Patti,
    I agree, absolutely! :-)

    @ Charles Gramlich,
    they do add another dimension,
    I always stop, especially now that
    the water's flowing again. Entrancing!

    @ The Things We Carried,
    it makes me happy that I can offer you a glimpse of my world! ;-)

  12. @ Anil P ,
    it was very windy the morning I took the pictures,
    the wind just swept them off and blew them away!

    @ Wandring Star,
    thank you!


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