Friday, July 3
Shadow

JOY . . . in celebrating Rainer Maria Rilke’s birth

Illustration: Portrait of Rilke painted by Leonid Pasternak two years after Rilke's death / Public Domain

How can I keep my soul in me, so that
it doesn’t touch your soul? How can I raise
it high enough, past you, to other things?
I would like to shelter it, among remote
lost objects, in some dark and silent place
that doesn’t resonate when your depths resound.
Yet everything that touches us, me and you,
takes us together like a violin’s bow,
which draws *one* voice out of two separate strings.
Upon what instrument are we two spanned?
And what musician holds us in his hand?
Oh sweetest song.
- Rainer Maria Rilke

Yesterday was THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIRTH OF RAINER MARIA RILKE, poet and novelist. “He is ‘widely recognized as one of the most lyrically intense German-language poets’. He wrote both verse and highly lyrical prose. Several critics have described Rilke’s work as inherently “mystical”. His writings include one novel, several collections of poetry and several volumes of correspondence in which he invokes haunting images that focus on the difficulty of communion with the ineffable in an age of disbelief, solitude and profound anxiety. These deeply existential themes tend to position him as a transitional figure between the traditional and the modernist writers.

“Rilke travelled extensively throughout Europe (including Russia, Spain, Germany, France and Italy), and in his later years settled in Switzerland—settings that were key to the genesis and inspiration for many of his poems. While Rilke is most known for his contributions to German literature, over 400 poems were originally written in French and dedicated to the canton of Valais in Switzerland. Among English-language readers, his best-known works include the poetry collections Duino Elegies (Duineser Elegien) and Sonnets to Orpheus (Die Sonette an Orpheus), the semi-autobiographical novel The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge (Die Aufzeichnungen des Malte Laurids Brigge), and a collection of ten letters that was published after his death under the title Letters to a Young Poet (Briefe an einen jungen Dichter). In the later 20th century, his work found new audiences through use by New Age theologians and self-help authors]and frequent quotations by television programs, books and motion pictures. In the United States, Rilke remains among the more popular, best-selling poets.” MORE Wikipedia

- Jamie Dedes (The Poet by Day and The BeZine)

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