SPECIAL AWARD 2017 - Rilke festival poem in English

Rainer Maria Rilke - To Lou Andre-Salome

Translated by Alexander Stillmark (Australia)

 

 

 

  TO LOU ANDRE-SALOME

I

I kept myself too open, I forgot

there were not only things out there

and animals in habit self-secure, whose eye

no less reached out of their life’s roundness

than a picture framed;

that I in all things ceaselessly drew glances

into me: glances, opinion, curiosity.

Who knows, are eyes not formed in space

and dwell close by. Ah, but impelled to you alone

my face is not displayed, but grows

within you and is darkly multiplied

into infinity within your guarded heart.

 

II

Just like a cloth on stifled breath,

no: as it is pressed upon a wound

from which life’s fullness, in a surge

tries to escape, I held you to me: I saw

you blushed before me. We then recovered all

that time always forbade. I ripened strangely

in every impulse of omitted youth,

and you, Beloved, had possessed some

wildest childhood to command my heart.

 

III  

Remembrance here is not enough, there needs

remain pure being from these moments

upon my inmost ground, some precipitate

of the immensely overfilled solution.

For I do not commemorate, what I am

touches me for your sake. I do not invent

you in sad chilled out places

from which you moved away; even your absence

is warm from you and truer, worth more

than all renouncing. Yearning too often passes

nto uncertainty. Why should I cast myself

aside, while to me your influence is perhaps as light

as moonbeams to a window-seat.

 

 

 

 

           Licensed for the  SPECIAL AWARD - Poetry Film Competition Vienna 2016/17

check the poem in the German original

   download the  Rilke sound recording in German - free download Creative Commons

      for your records: Copyright Agreement translation rights

 

Feel free to use it! Licensed for the Art Visuals & Poetry Competition 2011 under Creative Commons   Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)   

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