Posted by: Philip Carr-Gomm | February 4, 2014

Sonnet to Orpheus

snowdrops 3A tree ascended there. Oh pure transcendence!
Oh Orpheus sings! Oh tall tree in the ear!
And all things hushed. Yet even in that silence
a new beginning, beckoning, change appeared.

Creatures of stillness crowded from the bright
unbound forest, out of their lairs and nests;
and it was not from any dullness, not
from fear, that they were so quiet in themselves,

but from just listening. Bellow, roar, shriek
seemed small inside their hearts. And where there had been
at most a makeshift hut to receive the music,

a shelter nailed up out of their darkest longing,
with an entryway that shuddered in the wind-
you built a temple deep inside their hearing.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Translated by Stephen Mitchell


Responses

  1. Lovely !

  2. yes, a treasure! /|\

  3. So resonant of the seasonal emergence of life quietly out of the hushed silence of winter. transcendent indeed!


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