Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Rainer Maria Rilke

Because One wanted so much to have you,
I know that we can all want you.
Even when we throw all depths away from us:
suppose a mountain has gold
and no one is allowed to mine it anymore;
the water will bring it to light, the water
which reaches into the silence of stone,
it does the wanting.

Even when we do not use our will:

God is growing

Translated by Robert Bly

My friend Dean gave me a collection of Rilke poetry in college, (or did I steal it?) and despite every other inclination of my noisy nature I enjoyed it very much. Rilke's "object poems" were used to describe as clearly and succinctly as possible actual physical objects, to describe as he put it the "silence of their concentrated reality".

At the time I thought this advice in Letters to a Young Poet, #4 to be very apt:
"You are so young, so before all beginning, and I want to beg you, as much as I can, dear sir, to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer."

1 comment:

dexter said...

You missed a chance for a Holden Caufield quote here.