German Language Blog

German poetry: Spuren im Sand – Footprints in the Sand Posted by on May 18, 2012 in Language, Literature

I have just come across a very nice poem and it made me almost cry because I find it is such a soothing piece of work. Every one of us will sooner or later find him- or herself in a difficult situation where we feel alone, and maybe this poem will let you know that there is always someone who will guard you. Enjoy.


Spuren im Sand

Footprints in the Sand

Eines Nachts One night,
hatte ich einen Traum: I had a dream:
Ich ging am Meer entlang, I strolled along the sea,
mit meinem Herrn. with my Lord.
Vor dem dunklen Nachthimmel Under the dark night sky,
erstrahlten, appeared,
Streiflichtern gleich, like sidelights,
Bilder aus meinem Leben. pictures of my lifetime.
Und jedes mal And every time,
sah ich zwei Fußspuren im Sand, I saw two footprints in the sand,
meine eigene my own ones
und die meines Herrn. and the ones of my Lord.
Als das letzte Bild When the last picture
an meinen Augen vorübergezogen war, had stroke my eyes,
blickte ich zurück. I looked back.
Ich erschrak, I became frightened
als ich entdeckte, when I realized
dass an vielen Stellen that on many points
meines Lebensweges in my life,
nur eine Spur zu sehen war. only one track was to be seen.
Und das waren gerade And those were
die schwersten Zeiten the hardest times
meines Lebens. of my life.
Besorgt fragte ich den Herrn: Being worried, I asked the Lord:
“Herr, “Lord,
als ich anfing, when I began
dir nachzufolgen, to follow you,
da hast du mir versprochen, you promised me
auf allen Wegen bei mir zu sein. to accompany me on all my ways.
Aber jetzt entdecke ich, But now I see,
dass in den schwersten Zeiten that, at the hardest times,
meines Lebens of my life
nur eine Spur im Sand zu sehen ist. there are only single tracks in the sand.
Warum hast du mich allein gelassen, Why did you leave me alone,
als ich dich am meisten brauchte?” when I needed you most?“
Da antwortete er: And he responded:
“Mein liebes Kind, “My dear child,
ich liebe dich I love you
und werde dich nie allein lassen, and I will never leave you alone,
erst recht nicht even less in times
in Nöten und Schwierigkeiten.  of distress and trouble.
Dort wo du nur eine Spur gesehen hast, Where you only saw one track,
da habe ich dich getragen.” I carried you.”
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About the Author: Sandra Rösner

Hello everybody! I studied English and American Studies, Communication Science, and Political Science at the University of Greifswald. Since I have been learning English as a second language myself for almost 20 years now I know how difficult it is to learn a language other than your native one. Thus, I am always willing to keep my explanations about German grammar comprehensible and short. Further, I am inclined to encourage you to speak German in every situation. Regards, Sandra


  1. Ena:

    Thank you ! I feel so good reading poems in German…and this is sounds so wonderful..! Hope you’ll post more poetries in the future .

  2. Ena:

    Do this poem has an author?

  3. Duilio Pintagro:

    Hast recht… bewegend. Wunderschön.
    grüßt aus Sizilien

  4. Allan Mahnke:

    Yes, I believe the poet’s name is Mary Stevenson. It is a much-loved work here in the US.

    I had the good fortune, many, many years ago (though I didn’t think so at the time) to have been required by my German teachers to memorize shorter poems by many of the German greats–Mörike, Trakl, Heine, Goethe and seemingly countless others. It was at least one work each week. Those teachers are all gone now, but the poetry remains with me.

  5. Ena:

    Thank you, Allan! I never liked to learn poems by heart unless they mean something for me. I think that German poets are some of the greatest when it comes to make lyrics.