Kinderhilfe #136

John Bjarne Grover

Ich schlafe in einem Boote.
Das dünne Boden-Holz
knirscht wegen dieses Flotte
Unterwellen Golds.

Da kommt es eine Rüste
zu meinem tiefen Grunde,
sich dreht und geht. Du küßte
mich auf dem roten Munde.


This is in 'Der Dornenstrauch' relative enumeration #136, absolute #225, which means mirror absolute 429-225 = #204 which is relative enumeration #115.

11/6-21: Chinese Kangxi radical #204 = chinese sign ⿋ = 'ZHI' which means 'embroidery', 'to do needlework'

See the Shang and Western Zhou historical forms of the character

For an interesting comparison, in particular as concerns the 'Rüste', see also Horace's Epode #10. In the 2006 Reclam edition there is also a Holzschnitt to this Epode #10 from the Straßburger Ausgabe von 1498.

10/5-23: I recently came across Breasted 1964 with its illustration #137 showing this photo of a sculpture of king Ramses II of Egypt about 1250 BC, here also in a better resolution, and noticed the striking similarity of the egyptian sign in the lower lefthand part with the chinese Kangxi radical sign 204

for 'embroidery', 'to do needlework'. What is to notice is how well this sculpture seems to interpret my poem - in particular the 'Rüste' that comes 'zu meinem tiefen Grunde' - here with its 'arm's raise' onto the calf - turned (by the 'dreht und geht') into a symbol which 'kisses' his throat or neck, cp. also the parallel on his head down towards his mouth.

It seems (Gardiner p.15) that this egyptian sign - apparently for the name of Ramses - could have been what led Champollion on 14 september 1822 to the decipherment of the hieroglyphs.

11-12/5-23: See also this discussion of a related theme, continued in this.

Sources (in addition to the internet 'wiktionary'):

Breasted, J.H.: Geschichte Ægyptens. Deutsch von prof.dr.Hermann Ranke. Deutsche Buch-Gemeinschaft, Berlin, Darmstadt, Wien 1964. 

Gardiner, A.: Egyptian grammar. Third edition, revised. Griffith Institute, Oxford 2012.

Horaz/Horatius, Q.F.: Sämtliche Werke. Lateinisch/Deutsch. Mit den Holzschnitten der Straßburger Ausgabe von 1498. Mit einem Nachwort herausgegeben von Bernhard Kytzler. Philipp Reclam jun. Stuttgart 2006.

Mathews, R.H.: Chinese-English Dictionary. (A Chinese-English Dictionary Compiled for the China Inland Mission by R.H.Mathews, Shanghai: China Inland Mission and Presbyterian Mission Press, 1931). Revised american edition 1943. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

© John Bjarne Grover
On the web 15 june 2014
Last updated 12 may 2023