Thursday, January 26, 2012

Duino Elegies, The Tenth Elegy

Someday, emerging at last from the violent insight,
let me sing out jubilation and praise to assenting angels.
Let not even one of the clearly-struck hammers of my heart
fail to sound because of a slack, a doubtful,
or a broken string.  Let my joyfully streaming face
make me more radiant; let my hidden weeping arise
and blossom.  How dear you will be to me then, you nights 
of anguish.  Why didn't I kneel more deeply to accept you,
inconsolable sisters, and, surrendering, lose myself
in your loosened hair.  How we squander our hours of pain.
How we gaze beyond them into the bitter duration
to see if they have an end.  Though they are really
our winter-enduring foliage, our dark evergreen,
one season in our inner year -, not only a season
in time -, but are place and settlement, foundation and soil and home.

 Rainer Maria Rilke
photo:  Peter Bowers