The leaves are falling, falling as from far,
As if far gardens in the skies were dying;
They fall, and never seem to be denying.
And in the night the earth, a heavy ball,
Into a starless solitude must fall.
We all are falling.
My own hand no less
Than all things else; behold, it is in all.
Yet there is One who, utter gentleness,
Holds all this falling in
His hands to bless.
Below is the original German text for those of you who can understand it, and for those of you (like me) who can’t, but who would like to read it to catch a glimmer of Rilke’s original music.
Continue reading ‘Autumn’ by Rainer Maria Rilke
This clumsy living that moves lumbering
as if in ropes through what is not done,
reminds us of the awkward way the swan walks.
And to die, which is the letting go
of the ground we stand on and cling to every day,
is like the swan, when he nervously lets himself down
into the water, which receives him gaily
and which flows joyfully under
and after him, wave after wave,
while the swan, unmoving and marvelously calm,
is pleased to be carried, each moment more fully grown,
more like a king, further and further on.
I am so sad that my German is non-existent, apart from the odd greeting or pleasantry. I would so love to be able to read and understand this poem in its original language, but for now Bly’s superb translation will have to do. Continue reading ‘The Swan’ by Rainer Maria Rilke (Translated by Robert Bly)