April 10, 2017

Gliding into the Unknown

Swans at night by a bridge in Berlin

The Swan, by Rainer Maria Rilke, trans. by Edward Snow

This heaviness, toiling on as if in bonds
Through a landscape of things still undone,
Is like the makeshift walking of the swan.

And dying–to feel slowly giving way
That ground on which we daily stand,
Like his uneasy lowering of himself–:

Into the water, which receives him gently
And which, so serene in its passing,
Withdraws beneath him, wave on wave;
While he, infinitely still and sure,
With ever greater confidence and kingship
And self-possession deigns to glide.

With thanks to Cope Cumpston…glide on, Don Irish.

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