Sunday, December 27, 2009

Throne of Words

Teenaged dancer Wera Ouckama-Knoop's unexpected death inspired Rilke's Sonnets to Orpheus.

I found this passage especially beautiful...

Sonnets To Orpheus I, 4

by R. M. Rilke
translated by H. Landman
Oh you tender ones, step now and then
into the breath, that knows not of you,
upon your cheeks let it split in two,
behind you it quivers, united again.
Oh you blessed ones, oh you whole,
in whom the beginning of hearts appears.
Bows for arrows and arrows' goal,
your smile is always stained with tears.

Don't be afraid the weight will oppress,
give it back to the Earth's heaviness;
heavy are the mountains, heavy are the seas.

The trees that you planted as children, these
have long been too heavy for you to bear.
But space ... but the air ...