Friday, June 6, 2008

I am too alone in the world

I am too alone in the world, and yet not alone enough
to make every hour holy.
I am too small in the world, and yet not tiny enough
just to stand before you like a thing,
dark and shrewd.
I want my will, and I want to be with my will
as it moves towards deed;
and in those quiet, somehow hesitating times,
when something is approaching,
I want to be with those who are wise
or else alone.
I want always to be a mirror that reflects your whole being,
and never to be too blind or too old
to hold your heavy, swaying image.
I want to unfold.
Nowhere do I want to remain folded,
because where I am bent and folded, there I am lie.
And I want my meaning
true for you. I want to describe myself
like a painting that I studied
closely for a long, long time,
like a word I finally understood,
like the pitcher of water I use every day ,
like the face of my mother,
like a ship
that carried me
through the deadliest storm of all.


Rainer Maria Rilke

3 comments:

richips said...

Oh good god. This could not have come at a better time. I seriously love you.

Katherine Dieter said...

Love this.
Love that you posted it.

Sending the Robert Bly translation. Almost the same, but worth mentioning. Differences in CAPS.

Thank you.


I AM TOO ALONE IN THE WORLD

I am too alone in the world, and yet not alone enough
to make every MINUTE holy.
I am too TINY in THIS world, and not tiny enough
just to LIE before you like a thing,
SHREWED and SECRETIVE.
I want my OWN will, and I want SIMPLY to be with my will,
as it GOES TOWARD ACTION;
and in those quiet, SOMETIMES HARDLY MOVING TIMES,
when something is COMING NEAR,
I want to be with those who KNOW SECRET THINGS
or else alone.
I want WANT to be a mirror FOR your whole BODY,
and I never WANT to be blind, or TO BE too old
to hold UP your heavy AND swaying PICTURE.
I want to unfold.
I DON'T WANT TO STAY FOLDED ANYWERE,
because where I am folded, there I am A lie.
And I want my GRASP OF THINGS TO BE
true BEFORE you. I want to describe myself
like a painting that I LOOKED AT
closely for a long time,
like a SAYING THAT I finally understood,
like the pitcher I use every day,
like the face of my mother,
like a ship
that carried me
through the WILDEST storm of all.

Marjory said...

Always happy to find other Rilke lovers. I love this poem so much. Rilke words have been such beloved companions. All the best!