Ask Rilke Can men and women just be friends?: Ask Rilke

By Spider on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 01:13 pm:

    Ah, Women, that you should be moving here,
    among us, grief-filled,
    no more protected than we, and nevertheless
    able to bless like the blessed.

    From what realm,
    when your beloved appears,
    do you take the future?
    More than will ever be.
    One who knows distances
    out to the outermost star
    is astonished when he discovers
    the magnificent space in your hearts.
    How, in the crowd, can you spare it?
    You, full of sources and night.

    Are you really the same
    as those children who on the way to school were rudely
    shoved by an older brother?
    Unharmed by it.

    While we, even as children,
    disfigured ourselves forever,
    you were like bread on the altar
    before it is changed.

    The breaking away of childhood
    left you intact. In a moment,
    you stood there, as if completed
    in a miracle, all at once.

    We, as if broken from crags,
    even as boys, too sharp
    at the edges, although perhaps
    sometimes skillfully cut;
    we, like pieces of rock
    that have fallen on flowers.

    Flowers of the deeper soil,
    loved by all roots,
    you, Eurydice's sisters,
    full of holy return
    behind the ascending man.

    We, afflicted by ourselves,
    gladly afflicting, gladly
    needing to be afflicted.
    We, who sleep with our anger
    laid beside us like a knife.

    You, who are almost protection
    where no one protects.
    The thought of you
    is a shade-giving tree of sleep for the restless
    creatures of a solitary man.

By Spider on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 02:55 pm:

    Come on, ya Philistines.

By patrick on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 03:02 pm:


    whaddya want?

    I've never heard of this guy until now and this particular piece is meaningless.

By Spider on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 03:39 pm:

    Dude, how can you not have heard of Rilke? Rainer Maria Rilke? You know?

    Furthermore, this piece is hardly meaningless. It's about men and women, and more. Read it again, grasshopper.

By patrick on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 04:03 pm:

    how have i not heard of him? I dont really pursue 19th century european poets. I have a handfull of 20th century poets that i truly dig, but otherwise i dont go out of my way.

    i've read it many times. like much poetry, its so god damn ambigious and personal its annoying and in the end meaningless.

    i did look up a page on him when you started this thread.

    the fact that his mother made him wear dresses and the subsequent androgeny, thats more interesting that this poem.

By Antigone on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 04:22 pm:

    "like much poetry, its so god damn ambigious and personal its annoying and in the end meaningless."

    What do you want, a fucking blueprint?

    I think you'd really dig Rilke, patrick. Of course, you'd have to pry your head out of your ass first. Try the third Duino Elegy, Edward Snow translation.

By patrick on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 05:23 pm:

    blueprint? well no of course not. i love allusion and metaphor as much as the next guy but poetry too often becomes mundane.

    and its that kind of intellectual snobbery that annoys me...assuming i have my head in my ass cause i actually say what, i believe, many people feel but are too afraid to say, fearing some sort intellectual isolationism.

    poetry's best put to music fully exploiting the rhythm and meter some of the best poetry has.

    would Dylan have had the impact he did if he was just a poet? doubtful. his musical accompanyment drove it home.

By The Watcher on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 05:48 pm:

    "Once upon a midnight dreary. While I pondered weak and weary."

    Quoth this Raven - Nevermore.

By Antigone on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 06:33 pm:

    Anyone who casually dismisses Rilke because he's too "personal" and "ambiguous" most likely has a stinky case of chocolate head.

    Who's the snob? You're describing Rilke as "mundane" and you're calling me a snob? My, that's all ironical 'n' shit!

    Chow a slice of humble pie, patty boy.

By patrick on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 06:58 pm:

    i didnt dismiss HIM, just the poem, this one here and the many poems like it.

    the raven is a great story.

    humble pie was a horrible band.

By semillama on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 08:49 pm:

    Four and Twenty Blackbirds, baked in a pie.

By dave. on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 09:59 pm:

    i saw this many years ago. through a friend, i had arranged to make a bunch of free copies for antero in exchange for his services like an astrology reading and copies of his books on "modern shamanism" and tickets to see this thing. i don't remember much about the whole thing except that it was as pretensious an anything i had ever seen or probably ever will see.

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