Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Rilke

Rainer Maria Rilke. Sonnets to Orpheus (trans. Stephen Mitchell):

XIII

Be ahead of all parting, as though it already were
behind you, like the winter that has just gone by.
For among these winters there is one so endlessly winter
that only by wintering through it all will your heart survive.

Be forever dead in Eurydice-more gladly arise
into the seamless life proclaimed in your song.
Here, in the realm of decline, among momentary days,
be the crystal cup that shattered even as it rang.

Be-and yet know the great void where all things begin,
the infinite source of your own most intense vibration,
so that, this once, you may give it your perfect assent.

To all that is used-up, and to all the muffled and dumb
creatures in the world's full reserve, the unsayable sums,
joyfully add yourself, and cancel the count.

2 comments:

Kuntal said...

Wah!

Btw, never got around to emailing you but hallo again anyway. When next in Bombay we have to catch up so that I can officially introduce Meha to "Sridifoi". All other friends are "masi" and Mukul has totally ditched me and wants to be called "mamu". So you'll be her first foi from among my friends. At two yrs and and a few wks she knows exactly what she wants : "Kuntan sit HERE!". So that pretty much sums it up. (And confirming Nandita's complaint that I am too indulgent and not firm enough etc etc, most often I comply with the peremptory infant request.) Such are the joys!

And finally hope you're hanging in there with your dad's health.

Space Bar said...

Quintal! Mail, mail! Don't be lazy as well as indulgent; you'll become the kind of putty Meha can pull and stretch like dirty chewing gum. And please explain foi, though I'm happy to be it for her. (oh, we're hanging in there...thanks)