Sunday, February 27, 2011

From Rilke's Stunden-Buch

Another short translation by Tracy, from Rilke's Stunden-Buch or Book of Hours.

I can't believe the short man, Death, whose
very head we're used to looking over,
still gives us trouble and still worries us.

I can't believe his threats are serious;
I am alive and I have time to structure:
my blood stays red longer than the roses.

My mind runs deeper than the merry hell
it pleases him to make when we're afraid.
I am the world
from which he, straying, fell.
                                                    Just so,
wandering monks around in circles go;
we fear their coming back, we do not know
whether it will be the same each time,
is it two, is it ten, a thousand or more?
We only know this strange yellow finger
that stretches out so naked and so near
here     here:
as if emerging from the clothes we wear.

No comments: