Poet. He was an early leader of the German Expressionist movement. Like many artists of his generation Trakl was obsessed with what he saw as the decay of European civilization, and he articulated this with language of great power and sensitivity. With the exception of the book "Poems" (1913), all his work appeared after his death. This includes "Sebastian in Dream" (1915), "The Autumn of the Lonely" (1920), and "Song of the Desperate" (1933). Trakl was born in Salzburg, Austria. He was an emotionally unstable youth and many believe he suffered from undiagnosed schizophrenia. In 1906, when he was 19, Trakl managed to have two plays produced, "All Souls Day" and "Fata Morgana", but their failure led him to concentrate on poetry. By this time he was already a full-blown drug addict, and to facilitate his habit he trained as a pharmacist. He served in this capacity with the German Army in Poland during the early months of World War I. The horrors he experienced there led to a mental breakdown, reflected in the fragmented imagery of his final poems. Trakl's death in a military hospital, from a drug overdose, was probably a suicide. His Complete Works were published in three volumes between 1947 and 1951.
Bio by: Bobb Edwards