Monday
Feb062012

Oh Say Poet

Oh say, poet, what you do?

                                                   - I praise.

But what about the deadly and monstrous?

How do you keep going, how do you take it all in?

                                                    - I praise.

But the nameless and unnamed,

how do you keep calling out to them, poet?

                                                    - I praise.

Where does it come from, your claim to be real

in every guise and each mask?

                                                    - I praise.

And that the stillness and turbulence

know you like star and storm?

                                                    - Because I praise.

 Rainer Maria Rilke; translated by Mark S. Burrows (© 2012); from a poem of dedication to Leonie Zacharias; published in Sämtliche Werke, vol. 3 (Frankfurt a.M.:  Insel Verlag, 1976), 249