January 27th, 2008

So randomly today I started reading about the poet Rilke, and I stumbled across this poem:

“Woman in Love”

That is my window. Just now
I have so softly wakened.
I thought that I would float.
How far does my life reach,
and where does the night begin

I could think that everything
was still me all around;
transparent like a crystal’s
depths, darkened, mute.

I could keep even the stars
within me; so immense
my heart seems to me; so willingly
it let him go again.

whom I began perhaps to love, perhaps to hold.
Like something strange, undreamt-of,
my fate now gazes at me.

For what, then, am I stretched out
beneath this endlessness,
exuding fragrance like a meadow,
swayed this way and that,

calling out and frightened
that someone will hear the call,
and destined to disappear
inside some other life.

Translated by Edward Snow

Now, I’m aware that this is a translation, but it’s still the first time I’ve ever seen “undreamt”… organically, shall we say. Without really looking for it.

(It’s still a lovely poem, isn’t it? Rilke wrote French poems as well as German, so I’ll have to dig those up sometime and just enjoy them.)


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