Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Childlike Spring

The Easter Bunny?

Spring has come again.
The Earth is like
a child who knows
poems by heart.

~ Rilke ~
from Sonnets to Orpheus
~ translated by Edward Snow ~

I love this whimsical snail planter (found in the British garden of my parents - in - law) and the above bunny rabbit statuette (belonging to my British sister - in - law). Both figurines, as well as their attendant flowers, exemplify the child - like nature of Spring that Rilke captures in his simile of Earth as a poetic youngster. The following, also by Rilke, is a more serious poem for the Easter season; but keep in mind that, despite the maturity of its intropection, "this is how children cherish You":

Prayer #12

I believe in everything that has not been said,
I want to free my most pious feelings;
what no one has ever dared to want
will suddenly become my nature.

If this is impudent, my God, forgive me.
But with this I want to tell You
that my noblest power should be an instinct,
and thus without anger and without hesitation --
this is how children cherish You.

With this flood, with this flow
into the broad arms of the open sea,
with this expansive return,
I want to bear witness to You; I want to proclaim You
like none before.

And if this is pride, the let me be proud
in my prayer,
which stands so earnest and alone
before Your shadowed brow.

from Prayers of a Young Poet
written by by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 - 1926)
translated by Mark S. Burrows

Many thanks to my dear friend and spiritual advisor
Nancy C. Tiederman
for sending me this latest translation of Rilke's Prayers

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