That’s you, calling me. That’s me, hearing you.
Voices. Voices. Listen, my heart, as only saints have listened:
until the gigantic call lifted them off the ground;
yet they kept on, impossibly, kneeling and didn’t notice at all: so complete was their listening.
Of course it is strange, to inhabit the earth no longer,
to  give up habits one barely had time to learn.
Roses, and other things of singular promise,
no longer to see them in terms of a human future;
to be no more all that we nurtured and carried in endlessly anxious hands, and to leave by the roadside even one’s own name, like a child’s broken doll.
Strange, not to have wishes any more.
To see, where things were related, only a looseness
fluttering in space. And it’s hard, being dead,
and takes much difficult recapitulation
to glimpse the tiniest hint of eternity.
The living, though, are too ready to posit a border
between two states of being: a human mistake.
Angels, it is said, often know not
whether they are going under the living or the dead. The eternal current
rips through all ages of both worlds,
always with itself and over-sounding in both.

Freilich ist es seltsam, die Erde nicht mehr zu bewohnen,
kaum erlernte Gebräuche nicht mehr zu üben,
Rosen, und andern eigens versprechenden Dingen
nicht die Bedeutung menschlicher Zukunft zu geben;
das, was man war in unendlich ängstlichen Händen,
nicht mehr zu sein, und selbst den eigenen Namen
wegzulassen wie ein zerbrochenes Spielzeug.
Seltsam, die Wünsche nicht weiterzuwünschen. Seltsam,
alles, was sich bezog, so lose im Raume
flattern zu sehen. Und das Totsein ist mühsam
und voller Nachholn, daß man allmählich ein wenig
Ewigkeit spürt. Aber Lebendige machen
alle den Fehler, daß sie zu stark unterscheiden.
Engel (sagt man) wüßten oft nicht, ob sie unter
Lebenden gehn oder Toten. Die ewige Strömung
reißt durch beide Bereiche alle Alter
immer mit sich und übertönt sie in beiden.

                                                   Rainer Rilke


About judyjablow123

In my youth I was a world class tournament golfer. I earned an MA in history at NYU, after which I knew I had had enough of academia. I have remained a student of history. I have a strongly personal - almost entirely negative- take on the contemporary pharmaceutical and mental health industries. That was the impetus for my Bluepolar blog, which will also include stuff on sports, history and anything else that strikes my interest.
This entry was posted in Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Vie says:

    Reading this
    I dive into myself
    Tangible for this moment
    One wave in time


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