Breath, you invisible poem! Steady, sheer exchange between the cosmos and our being. Counterpoise in which I rhythmically become […] You, air, still full of places once mine, do you know me? You once my words’ sphere, leaf, and smooth rind. —Rainer Maria Rilke, first and last strophes to “Sonnet 1,” The Sonnets to Orpheus:… Continue reading Rainer Maria Rilke
Elegy Wind buffs the waterstained stone cupids and shakes Old rain from the pines’ low branches, small change Spilling over the graves the years have smashed With a hammer— forget this, forget that, leave no Stone unturned. The grass grows high, sweet-smelling, Many-footed, ever-running. No one tends it. No One comes….And where am I now?….… Continue reading Brigit Pegeen Kelly
Where, where is that place—I carry it in my heart—, where the weights are still heavy. —Rainer Maria Rilke, from “The Fifth Elegy”, Duino Elegies, trans. Edward Snow (North Point Press, 2000)
Kiss me, so long but as a kiss may last! ― Percy Bysshe Shelley, from “Adonais: An Elegy on the Death of John Keats,” Adonaïs: An Elegy on the Death of John Keats, Author of Endymion, Hyperion, etc. (1821)
I myself, from the very beginning, Seemed to myself like someone’s dream or delirium Or a reflection in someone else’s mirror, Without flesh, without meaning, without a name. Already I knew the list of crimes That I was destined to commit. — Anna Akhmatova, from Northern Elegies (Firefly Press 1985)
Who has not sat, afraid, before his heart’s curtain? – Rainer Maria Rilke, from “The Fourth Elegy,” Duino Elegies. Trans. Stephen Mitchell. (Vintage; Bilingual edition October 6, 2009) Originally published 1923.
Each night has one sound I know: the moon against the water like your cheek across mine in another life. —Sara Eliza Johnson, from “Elegy Surrounded by Water,” Bone Map: Poems. (Milkweed Editions; First Edition edition September 16, 2014)