Rilke

Poetry

A crazy love for Lou-Andréas Salomé, a reciprocal love, this is undoubtedly what Rainer Maria Rilke has left us the most brilliant in our firmament.
There have been few great loves in the world – few enough that each couple remains in all memories and leads all others to dream of living this immense love.
But it was a complex love to live – the time was not ours.

So Rilke wrote – wrote – still wrote and the song of his words still flows from this source

He wrote this at the end of his life – he knew that death would soon take him – and this is what he wrote then

The Duino Elegies

….Lovers, each satisfied in the other, I ask

you about us. You grasp yourselves. Have you a sign?

Look, it happens to me, that at times my hands

become aware of each other, or that my worn face

hides itself in them. That gives me a slight

sensation. But who would dare to exist only for that?

You, though, who grow in the other’s delight

until, overwhelmed, they beg:

‘No more’ -: you, who under your hands

grow richer like vintage years of the vine:

who sometimes vanish, because the other

has so gained the ascendancy: I ask you of us. I know

you touch so blissfully because the caress withholds,

because the place you cover so tenderly

does not disappear: because beneath it you feel

pure duration. So that you promise eternity

almost, from the embrace. And yet, when you’ve endured

the first terrible glances, and the yearning at windows,

and the first walk together, just once, through the garden:

Lovers, are you the same? When you raise yourselves

one to another’s mouth, and hang there – sip against sip:

O, how strangely the drinker then escapes from their action.

extract from the Second Elegy

Is it necessary to specify that his work, open and available to all, has found a thousand and one voices to sing it and sing it again, to sing it or say it, or show it?

Rilke – I am much too alone

This version, in the tones of sacred music has such a powerful resonance that I had to offer it to you

Another one ?

Again and again, however we know the landscape of love
and the little churchyard there, with its sorrowing names,
and the frighteningly silent abyss into which the others
fall: again and again the two of us walk out together
under the ancient trees, lie down again and again
among the flowers, face to face with the sky.

another ? yes

You who never arrived
in my arms, Beloved, who were lost
from the start,
I don’t even know what songs
would please you. I have given up trying
to recognize you in the surging wave of
the next moment. All the immense
images in me — the far-off, deeply-felt
landscape, cities, towers, and bridges, and
unsuspected turns in the path,
and those powerful lands that were once
pulsing with the life of the gods–
all rise within me to mean
you, who forever elude me.

You, Beloved, who are all
the gardens I have ever gazed at,
longing. An open window
in a country house– , and you almost
stepped out, pensive, to meet me.
Streets that I chanced upon,–
you had just walked down them and vanished.
And sometimes, in a shop, the mirrors
were still dizzy with your presence and,
startled, gave back my too-sudden image.
Who knows? Perhaps the same
bird echoed through both of us
yesterday, separate, in the evening…

hmmm.. a last one :

My eyes already touch the sunny hill.
going far ahead of the road I have begun.
So we are grasped by what we cannot grasp;
it has inner light, even from a distance-

and charges us, even if we do not reach it,
into something else, which, hardly sensing it,
we already are; a gesture waves us on
answering our own wave…
but what we feel is the wind in our faces.

Poésie du soir, espoir

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