Tuesday, March 16, 2010

[You Who Never Arrived]

Rainer Maria Rilke
[translated by Stephen Mitchell]


You who never arrived
in my arms, Beloved, who were lost
from the start,
I don't even know what songs
would please you. I have given up trying
to recognize you in the surging wave of the next
moment. All the immense
images in me—the far-off, deeply-felt landscape,
cities, towers, and bridges, and unsuspected
turns in the path,
and those powerful lands that were once
pulsing with the life of the gods—
all rise within me to mean
you, who forever elude me.

You, Beloved, who are all
the gardens I have ever gazed at,
longing. An open window
in a country house—, and you almost
stepped out, pensive, to meet me. Streets that I chanced upon,—
you had just walked down them and vanished.
And sometimes, in a shop, the mirrors
were still dizzy with your presence and, startled,
gave back my too-sudden image. Who knows? perhaps the same
bird echoed through both of us
yesterday, separate, in the evening...

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a gift to find this site today. This poem is amazing. I have bookmarked this site on my Favorites.

    Thank you for bringing poetry back in this way.

    The ending to this is "everything beautiful": Who knows? perhaps the same
    bird echoed through both of us
    yesterday, separate, in the evening...

    ReplyDelete