Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Rainer Maria Rilke: "Part One, Sonnet IV" ["You Who Let Yourselves Feel: Enter the Breathing"]

You who let yourselves feel: enter the breathing
that is more than your own.
Let it brush your cheeks
as it divides and rejoins beside you.

Blessed ones, whole ones,
you where the heart begins:
You are the bow that shoots the arrows
and you are the target.

Fear not the pain. Let its weight fall back
into the earth;
for heavy are the mountains, heavy the seas.

The trees you planted in childhood have grown
too heavy. You cannot bring them along.
Give yourselves to the air, to what you cannot hold.

"Part One, Sonnet IV" ["You Who Let Yourselves Feel: Enter the Breathing"], from Sonnets to Orpheus, by Rainer Maria Rilke. Taken from In Praise of Mortality: Selections from Rainer Maria Rilke's Duino Elegies and Sonnets to Orpheus, translated from the German and edited by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy. © Riverhead, 2005. 

Photography credit: Part of a work entitled "Cultural Intercourse," by Temsuyanger Longkumer (originally color). The logs are made of paper rubbings.

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