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i invoke you, almost deadly birds of the soul;

Posted by sailorstakewarning on March 21, 2010

who, if i cried out, would hear me among the angels’ hierarchies?
& even if one of them pressed me suddenly against his heart, i would be consumed in that overwhelming existence.

for beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror, which we are still just able to endure,
& we are so awed because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.

every angel is terrifying.

& so i hold myself back and swallow the call-note of my dark sobbing.
ah, whom can we ever turn to in our need? not angels, not humans, & already the knowing animals are aware that we are not really at home in our interpreted world.
perhaps there remains for us some tree on a hillside, which every day we can take into our vision;
there remains for us yesterday’s street & the loyalty of a habit so much at ease when it stayed with us that it moved in & never left.
oh & night: there is night, when a wind full of infinite space gnaws at our faces.
whom would it not remain for – that longed-after, mildly disillusioning presence, which the solitary heart so painfully meets.
is it any less difficult for lovers?
but they keep on using each other to hide their own fate.
don’t you know yet?
fling the emptiness out of your arms into the spaces we breathe; perhaps the birds will feel the expanded air with more passionate flying.

yes – the springtimes needed you. often a star was waiting for you to notice it…

this is just part of the first of the duino elegies, by rainer maria rilke. one of my favorite poems, translated by stephen mitchell. more passionate flying. alis volat propriis.


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