Rainer Maria Rilke

Before Summer Rain
November 1, 2020 Rilke Rainer Maria

Before Summer Rain
Then, out of the green of the grove,
something – what, it’s hard to say – something’s withdrawn
and makes its way to your window,
huddled and quiet. From the woods, a plover
– strong, persistent –
calls out and you think of St. Jerome,
a voice so abandoned and alone
only the rain can listen,
or respond. The yellowed portrait
on the wall, as if embarrassed
by your talk, turns, it seems, from the room,
away from you and from the great arras
hung there, the underwater light of Sunday afternoon
rising (like when you were small) chest, shoulders, your throat…

Vor dem Sommerregen
Auf einmal ist aus allem Grün im Park
man weiß nicht was, ein Etwas fortgenommen;
man fühlt ihn näher an die Fenster kommen
und schweigen sein. Inständig nur und stark
ertönt aus dem Gehölz der Regenpfeifer,
man denkt an einen Hieronymus:
so sehr steigt irgend Einsamkeit und Eifer
aus dieser einen Stimme, die der Guß
erhören wird. Des Saales Wände sind
mit ihren Bildern von uns fortgetreten
als dürften sie nicht hören was wir sagen.
Es spiegeln die verblichenen Tapeten
das ungewisse Licht von Nachmittagen,
in denen man sich fürchtete als Kind.

Rainer Maria Rilke, was a Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist. He is “widely recognized as one of the most lyrically intense German-language poets”. Widely recognized as one of the most lyrically intense German-language poets, Rainer Maria Rilke was unique in his efforts to expand the realm of poetry through new uses of syntax and imagery and in an aesthetic philosophy that rejected Christian precepts and strove to reconcile beauty and suffering, life and death. As C. M. Bowra observed in Rainer Maria Rilke: Aspects of His Mind and Poetry, “Where others have found a unifying principle for themselves in religion or morality or the search for truth, Rilke found his in the search for impressions and the hope these could be turned into poetry… For him Art was what mattered most in life.”(1875-1926)

— Excerpted from PoetryFoundation.org

Find out more about Rainer Maria Rilke HERE