Tuesday
Feb072012

Sonnets to Orpheus I, 3

A god could do it.  But tell me this:  how can a man

follow him by passing through the narrow lyre?

His mind is divided; at the crossing of two

heart-paths there is no temple to Apollo.

Song, as you teach it, isn't about desire,

nor does it court what might be accomplished.

Song is being.  Something simple for the god.

But when will we finally be?  And when will he turn

the earth and the stars toward us?

It isn’t this, young man, which makes you love, even when

the voice forces its mouth open for you.  Learn

to forget that you sang out.  It passes away.

But to sing in truth is a different breath.

A breath around nothing.  A blowing in God.  A wind.

 

      Rainer Maria Rilke, Sonnets to Orpheus I, 3;

                  translated by Mark S. Burrows