Sunday, December 13, 2009

You Who Never Arrived

You who never arrived  in my arms, 
Beloved, who were lost
from the start,  I don't even know what songs  
would please you. I have given up trying  
to recognize you in the surging wave of  
the next moment. All the immense  
images in me -- the far-off, deeply-felt landscape,  
cities, towers, and bridges, and un- suspected turns in the path,  
and those powerful lands that were once  
pulsing with the life of the gods-- 
all rise within me to mean  you, who forever elude me.   

You, Beloved, who are all  
the gardens I have ever gazed at, 
longing. An open window  
in a country house-- , and you almost  
stepped out, pensive, to meet me. 
Streets that I chanced upon,--  
you had just walked down them and vanished.  
And sometimes, in a shop, the mirrors  
were still dizzy with your presence and, startled, gave back 
 my too-sudden image. Who knows? Perhaps the same  
bird echoed through both of us  
yesterday, separate, in the evening... 
Rainer Maria Rilke

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