Sunday, February 9, 2014

Pour yourself out like a fountain

Sonnets to Orpheus, Part Two, XII
Rainer Maria Rilke

Will the change. Want the transformation. Be inspired
by the flame where everything shines as it disappears.
The artist, when sketching, loves nothing so much
as the curve of the body as it turns away.

What locks itself into sameness has congealed.
Is it safer to live gray and numb?
What’s frightened turns hard becomes rigid
and is easily shattered.

Pour yourself out like a fountain. Flow into
the knowledge that what you are seeking
often finishes at the start, and, with ending, begins.

Every happiness is the child of a separation
it did not think it could survive. And Daphne, becoming
a laurel, dares you to become wind.

Translated by Anita Barrows & Joanna Macy

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