Wednesday, April 24, 2013

the silence

The Silence
by Rainer Maria Rilke 
Listen, love, I lift my hands—
listen: there's a rustling . . .
What gesture of those all alone
might not be eavesdropped on by many things?
Listen, love, I close my eyes,
and even that makes sounds to reach you.
Listen, love, I open them . . .
. . . but why are you not here? 
The imprint of my smallest motion
remains visible in the silken silence;
indestructibly the least excitement
is stamped into the distance's taut curtain.
On my breathing the stars
rise and set.
At my lips fragrances come to drink,
and I recognize the wrists
of distant angels.
Only her of whom I think: You
I cannot see. 
— from The Book of Images, translated by Edward Snow


  1. A beautiful and subtle Rilke poem, linking the universe and beyond through synesthesia. Almost silent, almost motionless, but not quite — in the very rustlings and minute, reverberating motions lies the meaning.

  2. I agree, Robert.

    The line At my lips fragrances come to drink and the wrists / of distant angels blow me away.

  3. the joining of thing with shadow just about destroys me in this photograph! and so i want to stay here, with your photograph, and leave rilke to have the floor another day.


  4. I agree with Erin...this is for me one of your best images, Sister!


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