Saturday, November 03, 2007

An Autumn Day Just for You

Children love hearing the same story told in exactly the same words time after time. I often get chided for not proofreading my own copy, and I don't do so because I'm not so enthralled by it that I can stand reading it twice, let alone in one and the same day. But, for no good reason I can think of I love reading the same poems over and over. Here's one of them, translated into English from German.

Rainer Maria Rilke - Autumn Day

Lord, it is time. The summer was so great.
Impose upon the sundials now your shadows
and round the meadows let the winds rotate.

Command the last fruits to incarnadine;
vouchsafe, to urge them on into completeness,
yet two more south-like days; and that last sweetness,
inveigle it into the heavy vine.

He'll not build now, who has no house awaiting.
Who's now alone, for long will so remain:
sit late, read, write long letters, and again
return to restlessly perambulating
the avenues of parks when leaves downrain.

Lovely. And all the moreso if you ever spent time reading
Soviet prose or worse, so-called Workers'poetry.

No comments: