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Monday, March 28, 2011

From an April

(Rain by Gustave Caillebotte, 1848-1894,
French Impressionist painter)

“So, dear Sir, I can’t give you any advice but this: to go into yourself and see how deep the place is from which your life flows; at its source you will find the answer to the question of whether you must create. Accept that answer, just as it is given to you, without trying to interpret it. Perhaps you will discover that you are called to be an artist. Then take that destiny upon yourself, and bear it, its burden and its greatness, without ever asking what rewards might come from outside. For the creator must be a world for himself and must find everything in himself and in Nature, to whom his whole life is devoted.”

~ Rainer Maria Rilke, from his book
Letters to a Young Poet


Again the woods smell sweet.
The soaring larks lift up with them
the sky, which weighed so heavily on our shoulders;
through bare branches one still saw the day standing empty —
but after long rain-filled afternoons
come the golden sun-drenched
newer hours,
before which, on distant housefronts,
all the wounded
windows flee fearful with beating wings.

Then it goes still. Even the rain runs softer
over the stones’ quietly darkening glow.
All noises slip entirely away
into the brushwood’s glimmering buds.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926), Austrian poet and writer, from a new translation of his poems by Edward Snow

1 comment:

The old gentleman... said...

Re: Rilke. Take a look at his "slim volume" of poems titled Life of the Virgin Mary. It's superb. Of course, he's great on roses... Not so great on thorns.