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" Friendship is a sheltering tree "



May 18th, 2011

You darkness, that I come from, I love you more than all the fires that fence in the world, for the fire makes a circle of light for everyone, and then no-one outside learns of you. But the darkness pulls in everything: shapes, and fires, animals, and myself, how easily it gathers them! – powers and people. And it is possible a great energy is moving near me. I have faith in nights.  –  Rainer Maria Rilke

5 Responses to “Darkness”

  1. Du Dunkelheit, aus der ich stamme,
    ich liebe dich mehr als die Flamme,
    welche die Welt begrenzt,

    indem sie glänzt
    für irgend einen Kreis,
    aus dem heraus kein Wesen von ihr weiß.

    Aber die Dunkelheit hält alles an sich:
    Gestalten und Flammen, Tiere und mich,
    wie sie’s errafft,
    Menschen und Mächte –

    Und es kann sein: eine große Kraft
    rührt sich in meiner Nachbarschaft.

    Ich glaube an Nächte.

  2. (that’s the same in the german original. even if you don’t understand every word, I thought you might enjoy the rhythm and the sound of it.)

  3. I received this in my emails this morming, and it hit me straight in the heart. At the moment I am going through a considerably trying time, and somehow this passage spoke directly to what is happening to me and around me. A powerful message, I think.

  4. This is so very beautiful. Thank you so much and also a big thank you to skh for the German original. It is great to read it that way too.
    Have a wonderful day.

  5. One of the many reasons I moved back from England to Germany ages ago was that I needed to return to my mother tongue. I wanted to share Rilke in the original, since I was fed up with my own awkward translations. Unfortunately, I left behind most people I knew whose spirits and minds were geared towards such lyrical worlds…
    Ultimately, I ended up torn apart to a certain extent, now missing England and its peculiarities. And my friends, of course.

    But there is a blessing in having both languages. I discover new aspects in the translation above, although it obviously lacks the rhythm and sound of the original. I find the same vice versa, when looking at translations of, for example, Kathleen Raine’s poetry into German.

    Languages are such magical, powerful things. Things? I do believe they are entities, alive in their very own way…

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