Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Poem: Reply to the Larch

Silence and Mist surround us
as I reach for you.

Rough marriage with The Winter Wind
has shaped your unique beauty
silent and serene,

though in a summer breeze
your flouncy branches bounced with joy.

I cannot touch, for in-between
and hidden in deep snow are rocks and fallen trees.
There is no path.

The Way,
The Way to you

is not along a path,
unless it be by tracks of creatures
or a bird that flies into your branches.

Remember spring.
We met with
bursting green rosettes.

Joy in life renewed,
my princess of ‘The Emerald Lake’,
now your needles lie on the snow
and bleed
a rusty juice.

The Winter Wind freezes my blood.
Silence and Mist surround us.


Blogger Johnthebarman said...

I've just found this Rilke poem. He was there many times, long before me and wrote it much better.

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...

Translated by Stephen Mitchell

11:46 am  

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