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Tuesday
Feb072012

Sonnets to Orpheus I,1

Up rose a tree.  O pure uprising!

O Orpheus singing!  O tall tree in our ears!

And all kept silent.  But even in this solitude

a new beginning, sign, and change came forth.

 

Creatures thronged out of the stillness, out of the spacious

forest, uncluttered of lair and nest;

and they were so still in themselves,

not from cunning and not from fear

 

but from listening.  Bellows, cries, commotion

seemed distant from their hearts.  And where

not even a hut existed to receive them—

 

a shelter made of darkest desiring

with an entrance whose jambs trembled—

you built for them a temple in their hearing.

 

 

Rainer Maria Rilke, Sonnets to Orpheus I, 1;

      translated by Mark S. Burrows (2011)