Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Mood in Minnesota, November

November's gray is nearly complete--from the low-hanging sky to the newly bare trees, to the quickly dirty snow when it blankets the ground. Gray. Even the leaves, once a rich jeweled blaze, fall victim. Off the trees and flittering through the gutters, they darken and crumple, dead.

Time for some Rilke.


Lord: it is time. The huge summer has gone by.
Now overlap the sundials with your shadows,
and on the meadows let the wind go free.

Command the fruits to swell on tree and vine;
grant them a few more warm transparent days,
urge them on to fulfillment then, and press
the final sweetness into the heavy wine.

Whoever has no house now, will never have one.
Whoever is alone will stay alone,
will sit, read, write long letters through the evening,
and wander on the boulevards, up and down,
restlessly, while the dry leaves are blowing.

Rainer Maria Rilke


Anonymous said...

This is why I love your blog. Quirky and smart. Plus, I live in the same state and felt the gray today too. Thanks for this!

Jennifer S said...

I love this poem (posted it a while back...). Love love love it.

Do you know whose translation this is? The one I read most often is the Robert Bly translation, but I've been looking for Stephen Mitchell. (And that may just be the most pretentious paragraph I've ever typed.)

Minnesota Matron said...

Sweetie, Dr. Matron knows all about pretentiousness. Part of the A-C-A-D-E-M-I-C game. When you teach at a community college, your underwear is sort of around your ankles at the get-go, so there's that.

I'll see what translation this one was. Don't get me going on Bly. . . . he lives here! He's annoying, if genius.

Unknown said...

Does it mean I am pathetic if I have never heard of this poet?

Anonymous said...

I really hate this month.

Anonymous said...

Mary, I honest to God did NOT read your blog before I sent you the birthday poem.

Julie said...

Rilke is one of my favorite poets! I had a college boyfriend who introduced me to Rilke and used to read it aloud to me. When I got rid of him, I kept the Rilke!