Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘rilke’ Category

Happy 6th Birthday to this little poetry site. I want to thank it and thank its readers for being such a source of pleasure to me. I have done little to facilitate it: sharing my favorite poems, posting once in a while, but it seems to thrive nonetheless.

In honor of this – as well as nearing 200,000 hits – here is one of my favorite poems by Rilke. I first posted it in 2009, but only part. Here is the whole thing:

 

For the Sake of a Single Poem

 

…Ah, poems amount to so little when you write them to early in your life. You ought to wait and gather sense and sweetness for a whole lifetime, and a long one if possible, and then, at the very end, you might perhaps be able to write ten good lines.

For poems are not, as people think, simply emotions (one has emotions early enough) – they are experiences. For the sake of a single poem, you must see many cities, many people and Things, you must understand animals, must feel how birds fly, and knows the gesture which small flowers make when they open in the morning. You must be able to think back to streets in unknown neighborhoods, to unexpected encounters, and to partings you had long seen coming; to days of childhood whose mystery is still unexplained, to parents whom you had to hurt when they brought in a joy and you didn’t pick it up (it was a joy meant for somebody else-); to childhood illnesses that began so strangely with so many profound and difficult transformations, to days in quiet, restrained rooms and to mornings by the sea, to the sea itself, to seas, to nights of travel that rushed along high overhead and went flying with all the star’s, – and it is still not enough to be able to think of all that. You must have memories of many nights of love, each one different from all the others, memories of women screaming in labor, and of light, pale, sleeping girls who have just given birth and are closing again. But you must also have been beside the dying, must have sat beside the dead in the room with the open window and scattered noises. And it is not yet enough to have memories. You must be able to forget them when they are many, and you must have the immense patience to wait until they return. For the memories themselves are not important. Only when they have changed into our very blood, into glance and gesture, and are nameless, no longer to be distinguished from ourselves – only then can it happen that in some very rare hour the first word of a poem arises in their midst and goes forth from them.”

-Rainer Maria Rilke

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

… Ah, poems amount to so little when you write them too early in your life. You ought to wait and gather sense and sweetness for a whole lifetime, and a long one if possible, and then, at the very end, you might perhaps be able to write ten good lines. For poems are not, as people think, simply emotions (one has emotions early enough) — they are experiences.

-Rainer Maria Rilke

Read Full Post »

God Speaks
God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.

These are the words we dimly hear:

(continue…)

-Ranier Maria Rilke

4X1: Works by Tristan Tzara, Rainer Maria Rilke, Jean-Pierre Duprey, and Habib Tengour

Read Full Post »

Is he native to this realm? No,
his wide nature grew out of both worlds.
They more adeptly bend the willow’s branches
who have experience of the willow’s roots.

When you go to bed, don’t leave bread or milk
on the table: it attracts the dead–
But may he, this quiet conjurer, may he
beneath the mildness of the eyelid

mix their bright traces into every seen thing;
and may the magic of earthsmoke and rue
be as real for him as the clearest connection.

Nothing can mar for him the authentic image;
whether he wanders through houses or graves,
let him praise signet ring, gold necklace, jar.

-Rainer Maria Rilke (Translated by Edward Snow)

Read Full Post »

The Aloneness in which I have anchored myself for the last twenty years must not become an exception, a “vacation” which, adducing many justifications, I would have to beg from a supervising happiness. I must live in it without any boundaries. It has to remain this ground of consciousness, to which I can always return, without intending a quick gain here and now, without expecting that it should prove fertile for me; but involuntarily, unstressed, innocent: as to the place I belong to.

4X1: Works by Tristan Tzara, Rainer Maria Rilke, Jean-Pierre Duprey, and Habib Tengour

Read Full Post »

Artist, do not believe that your test lies in the work. You are not what you pretend to be, and what this or that one, not knowing any better, may take you for, until the work has become your very nature to such an extent that you cannot do otherwise than prove yourself in it. Working thus, you are the masterly thrown spear: laws from Her throwing hand receive you, and together you hit the target: what could be more certain than your flight?

Your test, however, is that you are not always thrown. That the spear-player Loneliness does not choose you for the longest time, that She forgets you. This is the time of temptation, when you feel unused, incapable. (As if being reading as not work enough!) Then, when you do not lie there very heavily, diversions exercise you and try to see to what other uses you can be put. As a blind man’s staff, as one of the rods in a grating, or as the balancing pole of a tight-rope walker. Or else they are capable of planting you in the soil of fate, for the miracle of the seasons to happen to you and for you perhaps to sprout small green leaves of happiness….

-Rainer Maria Rilke, from 4X1: Works by Tristan Tzara, Rainer Maria Rilke, Jean-Pierre Duprey, and Habib Tengour

Read Full Post »

All these refusals, do not forget it, my love, have to do with your power. If I were free, if my heart were not bound like a star into the relationships of the irrefutable spirit, then every word, from which rebellion in formed here, denial, complaint – would be Your fame, crossing over to You, agreement, the rush toward you – fall and resurrection in You.

If I were a man of graspable compass, a merchant, a teacher of comprehensible things, an artisan….

-Rainer Maria Rilke, from 4X1: Works by Tristan Tzara, Rainer Maria Rilke, Jean-Pierre Duprey, and Habib Tengour

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »