Friday, June 27, 2008

Home from the soaring

Most poetry does not translate well. But from the exposure I’ve had, I think Rainer Maria Rilke is a translatable poet. As I crossed the Atlantic on Tuesday and nodded off into a delightful 6 solid hours of airplane sleep, I read this from his Book of Hours:

I come home from the soaring
in which I lost myself.
I was song, and the
refrain which is God
is still roaring in my ears.

Now I am still
and plain:
no more words.

To the others I was like a wind:
I made them shake.
I’d gone very far, as far as the angels,
and high, where light things into nothing.

But deep in the darkness is God…

Somehow, though Ireland is a new country for me and though I am here alone, Rilke’s words resonate in my spirit this summer. Being alone in a new country is an interesting kind of solitude, and if it is a green country inhabited by people who sing their English (after all, isn’t that what an Irish accent is? It’s not a pronunciation; it is notes and rhythm), it is a beautiful solace.

1 comment:

spike mason said...

Just thought I'd comment on your post - as I thought you might be interested that I've released an album called "Widening Circles". I have become totally smitten by Rilke and so the album features the english translation of a handful of the poems from the Book of Hours set to my compositions.
You can watch a short film of the recording process
here ==>
You can have a listen to the album to see if you like it
here ==>