Monday
Feb062012

In the Deep Nights I Dig For You

In deep nights I dig for you, you treasure,

because all the superfluous things which

I saw were poverty and a poor substitute

for the beauty that hadn’t yet occurred.

 

But the way to you is so incredibly long and

obscured, since none has lately come this way.

O, you are lonely.  You are loneliness,

you heart which wanders to distant valleys.

 

And I lift my bloodied hands up

from the grave into the wind,

so that they spread out like a tree.

With them I cleanse you from the room

as if you’d once wrecked yourself

with the force of an impatient gesture,

and were felled now, a scattered world,

out of distant stars as these fell softly

again upon the earth like a spring shower.

 

Rainer Maria Rilke, Von der Pilgerschaft, in

Das Stunden-Buch (Insel, 1955), 339 – 40;

Translated by Mark S. Burrows