Two Short Rilke Poems

by Ranier Maria Rilke

Wer seines Lebens viele Widersinne

She who reconciles the ill-matched threads
Of her life, and weaves them gratefully
Into a single cloth –
It’s she who drives the loudmouths from the hall
And clears it for a different celebration.

Where the one guest is you.
In the softness of evening
It’s you she receives.

You are the partner of her loneliness,
The unspeaking center of her monologues.
With each disclosure you encompass more
And she stretches beyond what limits her,
To hold you.

Ich lebe mein Leben in wachsenden Ringen

I live my life in widening circles
that spread out across the world.
I may not complete this last one
but I give myself to it.

I circle around God, around the primordial tower.
I’ve been circling for thousands of years
and I still don’t know: am I a falcon,
a storm, or a great song?

(I realized that for those of you who are unfamiliar with Rilke, the previously posted poem may not have been as meaningful. These two above are from my favorite collection of his poems with, I think the best translations, Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God. Rilke wrote this book – in German – in his twenties. That’s pretty cool.)

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Published in: on March 18, 2009 at 3:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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