not a pretty picture. not a good. not a bad. picture. but an argument.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

ich bete wieder, du Erlauchter



I am praying again, Awesome One.













With my half-mouth I stammer you.

(from Book of Hours, Rilke)

19 comments:

  1. Photographs recently found in the caves of Altamira? ;-))

    Nice, nice, very nice...

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    1. this leads to a sweet point, daniel. always we live with it first before we reproduce it. might we take time to see its significance?

      xo
      erin

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  2. This goes with your last post...
    Something about this state of being...

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    1. rosaria, the transformation the cows make between being spiritual (the first shot) to earthly, all other dense shots, only giving themselves away in breath in the last shot, is startling. the world does this. the world is this. a mystery))

      xo
      erin

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  3. Since the cows don't use German not to speak, check this out:

    Aufgang oder Untergang

    Not that it matters, but here's a translation (by somebody else):
    Shall I name you a rising or a setting?
    For sometimes, tremulous before the morning,
    I reach in awe for its roses' glow--
    and sense a fear in its flute note
    that days are dawning songless and too long.

    Evenings are other: they are mild and mine,
    tranquil, lit up by my long looking;
    the forests sleep, cradled in my arms--
    and I the ringing harmony above them,
    bound to the darkness in the violins
    by all the dark that is my being.

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    1. i smile so deeply with this, william, NOT to speak:)))

      you say this is another translation and i wonder which poem in particular you speak of and which translator?

      i note to myself that each poem, every poem is translation, translation of experience and truth.

      xo
      erin

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    2. I tried so hard, Erin, to find a reading of the very poem you quoted from, but The Book of Hours, like much of Rilke’s “early” work, is deemed insubstantial compared to what follows it. One exception was the poem I did find, from even earlier (in 1898’s In Celebration of Myself), which had a choice of readings from great German voices. To say that listening to Rilke in German is an orgasmic experience that makes considerations like meaning quite irrelevant would be an understatement. Yet Rilke’s meaning from beginning to end is of that same quest for connection that you and I (and others and the other) share. To answer your specific question, the translator here is Susan Ranson. Thanks to your query I was able to find online the volume which contains that translation. It is here. I would particularly commend you to the introduction, which talks about Rilke’s internalizing of God, his efforts to still stones while other poets were trying to animate them, his quest to see the world from the perspective of a blind angel (“a higher level of reality is recognizable in the realm of the invisible”), his life-long holding for the state of a fig-tree that fruits “without bothering to indulge in the self-aggrandizement of blossoming.” What other poet can it be said about that he suffered from writer’s block brought on by the congestion of trying to turn his eyes in sexual organs?

      As for your point about translation, all I can say is that the snow here today is like the speckled hide of cows, and that makes me think of a you that is beyond you and beyond Kamadhenu and beyond even a Rilkean conception of cows as the truest expression of his own soul. Moo, indeed!

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  4. Replies
    1. thanks for coming by janathan. (i found you by way of william.)

      xo
      erin

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  5. I always love cows, they are special and very expressive animals, they are warm

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    1. laura, they are beautiful, aren't they, and their simplicity i think deepens the well of their mystery. and yes, warm! this day in particular slowing beside them with the window down in the car. we could hear them move through the snow and ice! it was such a revelation to hear them! (and so exciting.) and their movements, so slow and hypnotic. oh, they were gorgeous; the moment, as though we were witnessing a gathering for prayer, so sacred.

      xo
      erin

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  6. wow
    i am sitting here, literally gaping, my mind all blank

    !!!

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    1. roxana, i'm not sure you could have been quiet had you been in the car with us. somehow we were held at the point exactly equidistance between shouting and silence.

      xo
      erin

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  7. Hi, Erin
    Your new post is really suggestive.
    The warm breath of this beautiful animal.
    The trampled way in the snow.
    Yes, awesome
    Hugs
    W.

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    1. when others can see this, have reverence for such animals, note their warmth and the importance of the trampled snow - i have hope for the world. yes, awesome.

      xo
      erin

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  8. A wonderful cow series, they mean so much to me, as you know,,,

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    1. :) i stopped to think about this for a moment, michael and then started to laugh. the leather!

      it's not that i don't eat them. i do. but i respect them. is this perverse? but i think you might feel similarly.

      xo
      erin

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  9. Whenever we go on holidays to the prairie provinces my husband and I make sure we take time to see all the cows. I love them and their big brown eyes. Maybe they really are holy.

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  10. the silky black sinew, warm against the snow. it is all a miracle.

    half mouth stammering. yes.

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"Words at the limit of hearing, attributable to no one, received in the conch of the ear like dew by a leaf." (philippe jaccottet) or even a quiet presence is appreciated))