wrdeer

(Rilke redux) I live my life in growing rings…

In Uncategorized on October 19, 2010 at 9:30 pm
An admittedly not very accurate but personal translation of the German classic by Rainer Maria Rilke

I live my life in growing rings
That reach across this world of things
I may not complete the final circuit, 
but I give myself to it. 

I circle God the primordial tower
As i've circled for a thousand years;
In mystery without knowing: 

Am I 
        a hunting bird, 
                                 the tempest 
        or a great and echoing song.

Note: I'm not a German speaker so this translation was aimed at getting the feel of the poem  – all you Deutschländer's out there please forgive the licence taken. 

Ich lebe mein Leben in wachsenden Ringen

Ich lebe mein Leben in wachsenden Ringen,
die sich über die Dinge ziehn.
Ich werde den letzten vielleicht nicht vollbringen,
aber versuchen will ich ihn.

Ich kreise um Gott, um den uralten Turm,
und ich kreise jahrtausendelang;
und ich weiß noch nicht: bin ich ein Falke, ein Sturm
oder ein großer Gesang.

– Rainer Maria Rilke

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