Tuesday
Feb072012

Sonnets to Orpheus I, 19

Even though the world changes as swiftly

as the drifting clouds,

all that is finished returns

home to what is more ancient still.

 

Beyond the transient and ephemeral,

further than this and freed of it,

your pure song endures,

god playing upon the lyre.

 

Never is suffering understood;

never is love learned.

And what departs from us in death

 

is not unveiled.

Only the song, drifting across the land,

consecrates and celebrates.

 

 

Rainer Maria Rilke, “The Sonnets to Orpheus” I, xix

      translated by Mark S. Burrows (© 2009)