Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Wave Poetry Festival

I'll be discussing Rilke translations and reading some of my own at this year's Wave Poetry Festival, Friday, Nov. 4th, 11:30am.

As promised over on our Facebook page, I include here a couple of the translations I've been working on. They're from Das Buch der Bilder - The Book of Images.

Hope to see you at the festival!


Evening slowly changes its garments,
held for it by a border of ancient trees;
you watch: the lands separate from you,
one traveling skyward, and one that falls;

and leave you, belonging fully to neither,
not quite so dark as the house in silence
not so securely invoking the eternal
as that which will rise a star each night-

and leave to you (unspeakably to untangle)
your life, fearful and gigantic and ripening,
so that, now cramped and now comprehending,
it alternates in you between stone and star.


The Song of the Idiot

They don't hinder me. They let me pass.
They say´╗┐ nothing could happen.
How good.
Nothing could happen. Everything springs from
and circles round the Holy Ghost,
round that specific Ghost (you know) -,
how good.

No, one really must not believe
there is any danger in it.
There is of course the blood.
The blood is the worst. The blood is tough.
Sometimes I think I can't go on -.
(How good.)

Oh what a lovely ball that is;
red and round like an everywhere.
Good, that you made it.
Perhaps it comes when one calls?

How strangely everything behaves,
pushed together, swimming apart:
friendly, a little indistinct.
How good.


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