Sunday, June 19, 2016

"Angel, if there were a place we don't know ..." R.M. Rilke

2016.06.18-DSC06864Fifth Elegy (extract)

Angel, if there were a place we don't know, and there
on some ineffable carpet, the lovers who never
could bring off their feats here, could show
their bold lofty figures of heart-swings,
their towers of ecstasy, their pyramids
that long since, where there was no standing-ground,
were tremblingly propped together--could succeed
before the spectators around them, the innumerable silent dead:
would not these then throw their last, ever-hoarded,
ever-hidden, unkknown to us, eternally
valid coins of happiness
before that pair with the finally genuine smile
on the assuaged carpet?

From the Duino Elegies by Rainer Maria Rilke (Trans. C.F. MacIntyre)

Rilke wrote The Duino Elegies (German: Duineser Elegien), a collection of ten elegies begun 1912 while he was a guest of Princess Marie von Thurn und Taxis (1855–1934) at Duino Castle, near Trieste on the Adriatic Sea. The series took nearly 10 years to complete and were dedicated to the the Princess when published in 1923.

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