THE SONNETS TO ORPHEUS by Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Robert Temple
Will to be transformed. Oh, be enraptured for that flame wherein
A thing escapes from you, after it has made a display of its transfigurations;
every spirit who draws up a plan to subdue earthly things
loves, in the sublimity of the plan’s shape, its critical point best.

Whatever is wrapped up in ‘remaining’ has already congealed;
has it the delusion it can hide itself under cover of grey dullness?
Wait, the most congealed thing of all cautions from its distance against whatever
is rigid.

Alas - : the absent hammer rises to strike!

Who pours himself forth as a fountain-head is known by the Knower,
who leads him, enchanted and serene, through the emergence of creation,
Which so often closes where it ends and ends where it begins.

Every blessed space is both child and grandchild of dissolution,
for that which is stored up drains away. And Daphne, in her metamorphosis,
as she feels herself becoming a laurel, wishes that you evanesce into the wind.

© Robert Temple 2010. Website designed by Jonathan Greet