George’s Waller im Schnee starts with “Die steine die in meiner strasse staken”, which like all poems in the season collections of Das Jahr der Seele has no title. The poem describes a landscape in winter and a speaker who wanders alone in the cold. It addresses the speaker’s death wish and his will to find shelter once again as hope might be closer than expected.
Its rhyme scheme and content divide the poem into three parts. In George’s literary magazine Blätter für die Kunst, it was printed with three stanzas, the second of which contained two additional verses. The manuscript, on which the private edition of 1897 was based, divided the poem into four quatrains, probably to create a visual match to the surrounding poems. Both the private and the public editions adopted this layout with four stanzas. I base my analysis on the form with three stanzas that can be found in the collected edition of George’s work. Therefore, I do not agree with Simon (2011), who claims that the rhyme scheme translates terza rima into quatrains and that the resulting asymmetry generates an internal resistance. In my view, two sextains with the regular rhyme scheme abc abc (or fgh fgh) frame a quatrain of alternate rhymes (dede). The symmetry of stanzas and rhymes points towards the middle of the poem where the speaker’s despair and loneliness are most apparent. The first eight verses describe the landscape and how the speaker perceives it. The last eight verses elaborate on his wishes and