Inviting Rilke out for dinner

Since I came to Hokkaido, I have been some kind of naturalist, paying a lot of attention to changing seasons, flora and fauna. On this island the nature is booming. I even started to refer to flowers by their proper names.

Speaking about flowers and guys who appreciate them, some time ago I had this dream with Rainer Maria Rilke. I don’t happen to remember the details but it was probably about paying attention to questions and not so much looking for answers. Maybe I should stop looking for explanations and worry less about things which will turn into dust one way or another.

Actually, from many writers I find dear to me, Rilke is the one I would like to meet in person. Too bad we don’t share the same timeline. Yet, I don’t know what kind of questions I would ask. I guess all the answers to possible questions are in his poetry. Anyway, it must be amazing to meet someone with such a grand sensibility towards the world. I would invite Rilke out for a dinner and give him flowers.

 

Here is a poem by Rilke and some photos I took last spring.

 

See the flowers, so faithful to Earth.
We know their fate because we share it.
Were they to grieve for their wilting,
that grief would be ours to feel.

There’s a lightness in things. Only we move forever burdened,
pressing ourselves into everything, obsessed by weight.
How strange and devouring our ways must seem
to those for whom life is enough.

If you could enter their dreaming and dream with them deeply,
you would come back different to a different day,
moving so easily from that common depth.

Or maybe just stay there: they would bloom and welcome you,
all those brothers and sisters tossing in the meadows,
and you would be one of them.

Sonnets to Orpheus II, 14
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6 thoughts on “Inviting Rilke out for dinner

      1. I took exactly the same poem which you can see in my blog under flowers in macro, but there are different translations. It’s rather hard to translate Rilke because he made a lot of neologisms. I read him in German and found out that translation is so difficult that the sense sometimes changes a bit.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I believe so! Sadly I cannot read in German (the ones I read were in Portuguese and English). I guess there is something that is always “lost”.
    Sounds nice, I’m going to check it!

    Like

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