Tag Archives: Rilke

The Tunnel

“Poets are the bees of the invisible, Rilke said.”
William H. Gass, The Tunnel, Dalkey Archive Press, 1999, p. 110.

It should have been: ‘Poets are the bees of the not yet visible.”  Flowers that are not yet visible are invisible. And so are you. Am I. Some things remain invisible though & as such are not not yet visible. Maybe that accounts for Maeterlinck’s fascination with bees.

Was Rilke inaccurate (did he say that?) or does the invisible only apply to what’s ultimately going to flower? Truth as yet undiscovered still truth is. No matter if the words are well ordered. Rilke said; Rilke sad. It’s to a large extent how extent tends to some extent being turned into ‘extend’. A tunnel from the dark side to a more truthful state, of affairs.

Capisce?

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Fünf Sonette an Orpheus

“III
Ein Gott vermags. Wie aber, sag mir, soll
ein Mann ihm folgen durch die schmale Leier?
Sein Sinn ist Zwiespalt. An der Kreuzung zweier
Herzwege steht kein Tempel für Apoll.

Gesang, wie du ihm lernst, ist nicht Begehr,
nicht Werbung um ein endlich noch Erreichtes;
Gesang ist Dasein. Für den Gott ein Leichtes.
Wann aber sind wir? Und wann wendet er
an unser Sein die Erde und die Sterne?

Dies ists nicht, Jüngling, Dass du liebst, wenn auch
die Stimme dann den Mund dir aufstösst, – lerne
vergessen, dass du aufsangst. Das verrinnt.
In Wahrheit singen, ist ein andrer Hauch.
Ein Hauch um nichts. Ein Wehn im Gott. Ein Wind.”
Rainer Maria Rilke, Fünf Sonette an Orpheus, III, p.24 booklet with CD
“Rautavaara, Song of My Heart, Orchestral Songs”, published by Ondine.

[Official English translation:
III
A god can do it. But how, tell me,
should a man follow him through that narrow lyre?
His mind is torn in two. At the crossing
of two heartways you will find no temple for Apollo.

Song, as you teach it, is no yearning,
no wooing for something that can be finally attained;
song is being. Easy for a God.
But when are we? And when will he turn
the earth and the stars to our being?

This is not about your loving, young man,
even if your voice exploded from your mouth;
learn to forget that you ever sang. It fades away.
To sing in truth is a different breath.
A breath of nothing. A breeze of god. A wind.”]

[Re-posted from The Old Site, original dd. 22-07-2009. Just going through the motions, this has to have been a low point. I can only hope.]

What I wanted to talk about was ‘Mind-Mind Dualism’ but then I thought about Orpheus and remembered what is quoted above from Rilke (I hesitated a bit: Kierkegaard-Nietzsche came to mind as well, but I settled for Rilke’s Orpheus).

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