Monday, March 4, 2013

this is how i wait, 2

from TO EROS


It is not justice’s scale that knows us true:
god of undivided envy, it is you
who weigh our wrongs --
from two hearts you murder and measure
you shape one heart vaster than nature
that grows and yet longs

to grow…. You, indifferent and superb,
humble the mouth and exalt the word
toward the sky’s ignorance....
You mutilate by returning to ultimate absence
these beings that are but fragments from absence.

Rainer Maria Rilke
(my translation)


  1. Ce n'est pas la justice qui tient la balance précise
    c'est toi, ô Dieu à l'envie indivise,
    qui pèses nos torts,
    et qui de deux coeurs qu'il meurtrit et triture
    fais un immense coeur plus grand que nature,
    qui voudrait encor

    grandir...Toi, qui indifférente et superbe,
    humilies la bouche et exaltes le verbe
    vers un ciel ignorant...
    Toi qui mutiles les êtres en les ajoutant
    à l'ultime absence dont ils sont des fragments.


  2. oh! my mind aches all over this and perhaps the fleshier parts of me as well!!!!! i feel rilke says nothing and everything in the same breath as though he is a magician who takes a piece of paper and shreds it before our eyes. out of this a cloud of pigeons descends upon us and then leaves us alone, stripped naked and panting on the floor, ourselves now reduced to a sheet of paper. and then someone opens a window. perhaps rilke. and we blow away.

    his french voice is so dramatically different (it seems here) than his german. what can this possibly mean? what is language, dammit?!!!! and then, what the hell is translation? what is being? what is life? what is death?

    you murder and measure
    You, indifferent and superb


    and then,
    humilies la bouche et exaltes le verbe


    i don't know anything about translation and i barely know french, but i think there is more in this last line than can be held in any words.

    this is very exciting.

    and the photograph of you, of your waiting, of your always waiting, (of all of our waiting), plagues me, haunts me, makes me ache and arouses me.


  3. Difficult to say anything else. Moving. Very.