9.18.01

Good morning my friends.

I woke up this morning with such a burst of energy from all the gifts you have given me.

Between various meetings with various friends and loves, I'm working to put together some of your responses here. I hope to have some more stuff up before too long. Depends how long this energy lasts. I can't count on it. Keep checking back if you like, 'cause I don't want to send out another mass email. Don't want to be rude.

I got a beautiful email this morning from KY Alexander, an old friend with whom I have been out of contact for a long time. One of the things we have had in common over many years is a shared love for Rilke. We have both written pieces responding to his poetry.

She pointed me to Sonnet II:12, which I'm putting up for you here in both German and English. (here are kai's comments and new translation)




Wolle die Wandlung. O sei für die Flamme begeistert,
drin sich ein Ding dir entzieht, das mit Verwandlungen prunkt;
jener entwerfende Geist, welcher das Irdische meistert,
liebt in dem Schwung der Figur nichts wie den wendenden Punkt.

Was sich ins Bleiben verschliesst, schon ists das Erstarrte;
wähnt es sich sicher im Schutz des unscheinbaren Grau's?
Warte, ein Härtestes warnt aus der Ferne das Harte.
Wehe--: abwesender Hammer holt aus!

Wer sich als Quelle ergiesst, den erkennt die Erkennung;
und sie führt ihn entzückt durch das heiter Geschaffne,
das mit Anfang oft schliesst und mit Ende beginnt.

Jeder glückliche Raum ist Kind oder Enkel von Trennung,
den sie staunend durchgehn. Und die verwandelte Daphne
will, seit sie lorbeern fühlt, dass du dich wandelst in Wind.

Rainer Maria Rilke
Sonnets to Orpheus II:12




Will transformation. Oh be inspired for the flame
in which a Thing disappears and bursts into something else;
the spirit of re-creation which masters this earthly form
loves most the pivoting point where you are no longer yourself.

What tightens into survival is already inert;
how safe is it really in its inconspicuous gray?
From far off a far greater hardness warns what is hard,
and the absent hammer is lifted high!

He who pours himself out like a stream is acknowledged at last by Knowledge;
and she leads him enchanted through the harmonious country
that finishes often with starting, and with ending begins.

Every fortunate space that the two of them pass through, astonished,
is a child or grandchild of parting. And the transfigured Daphne,
as she feels herself become laurel, wants you to change into wind.

Stephen Mitchell's translation.

(I have not sought permission for this reprint, so please don't even consider reprinting or broadcasting this (or anything else on this site now that I'm thinking about it) for profit. Here is the link to Amazon where you can purchase this translation of the sonnets.)