Evening

carpaccio cupid stVittore Carpaccio (c. 1465 – 1525/1526)

 

Evening

The sky puts on the darkening blue coat
held for it by a row of ancient trees;
you watch: and the lands grow distant in your sight,
one journeying to heaven, one that falls;

and leave you, not at home in either one,
not quite so still and dark as the darkened houses,
not calling to eternity with the passion of what becomes
a star each night, and rises;

and leave you (inexpressibly to unravel)
your life, with its immensity and fear,
so that, now bounded, now immeasurable,
it is alternately stone in you and star.

 

Rainer Maria Rilke (4 December 1875 – 29 December 1926)

translated by Stephen Mitchell

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No World

cranachlion

Lucas Cranach the Elder (c. 1472 – 16 October 1553) pen & brown ink


In the Jardin des Plantes, Paris


His  vision, from the constantly passing bars,
has grown so weary that it cannot  hold
anything else. It seems to him there are
a thousand bars, and behind  the bars, no world.

As he paces in cramped circles, over and over,
the  movement of his powerful soft strides
is like a ritual dance around a  center
in which a mighty will stands paralyzed.

Only at times, the  curtain of the pupils
lifts, quietly—.  An image enters in,
rushes down through the tensed, arrested muscles,
plunges into the heart and is  gone.


Rainer Maria Rilke
(December 1875 – December 1926)
The Panther
tr. Stephen Mitchell