Sueskind of Trimberg’s path of fools


Sueskind of Trimberg (ca. 1230 – 1300)  was a Jewish minnesinger (or troubadour) and poet in Middle High German language. He left six poems and is depicted with a Jewish had in the famous Codex Manasse, talking to a Christian Bishop, implying that he himself was an official representative of his Jewish community, maybe that of Trimberg, today a part of the (spa town) Bad Kissingen, 25 km north of Schweinfurt, Frankonia.

Path of Fools

I am walking on the path of fools

And that according to old school

The authorities keep me apart

That is why I will leave their court

Henceforth I will grow a beard

With long curled hair and grey

I will continue moving forward

In my well-tried Jewish way

With a long coat deep under my hat

And with a cheerful and humble gait

It will be rare to raise my voice

Since they rebuffed me thrice

(Translation: Yehuda Shenef)

(ich var uf der toren vart, mit miner kuenste z‘ware, daz mir die herren niht welnt geben, daz ich ir hof will vliehen, unt will mir einen langen bart lan wahsen griser hare, ich will in alter juden leben mich hinnn vuer wert ziehen, min mantel der sol wesen lank, tief unter einem huote, demueteklich sol sin min gank, unt selten me gesingen hovelichen sank, sit mich die herren scheident von ir guote)

4 Responses to Sueskind of Trimberg’s path of fools

  1. steven shamrick says:

    Remarkable good translation. Will you also do the other poems of Suesskind?

  2. Joshua says:

    Well done. The meter actually is better than the original. Now you only need a seductive tune and a good singer …😉

  3. Helen Lester says:

    This is very interesting. I wonder if I am related to Sueskind as my maiden name was Susskind.

    • yehuda says:

      Dear Helen Lester,

      it of course is quite possible, but unfortunately – so far – we know absolutely nothing about the family background of Sueskind and his descendants. On the other hand it is known that the name became a family name, but of course in much later time but not necessarily restricted to the poet.

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