DIPPER FALLS, mountain spring, the Eagle Cap Wilderness
On the road in the American Northwest. [ click photo for next . . . ]

[It's possible I'm moving through the hard veins
of heavy mountains...
—an early poem from the German,
Rainer Maria Rilke

It's possible I'm moving through the hard veins
of heavy mountains, like the ore does, alone;
I'm already so deep inside, I see no end in sight,
and no distance: everything is getting near
and everything getting near is turning to stone.

I still can't see very far into suffering,—
so this vast darkness makes me small;
are you the one: make yourself powerful, break in:
so that your whole being may happen to me,
and to you may happen, my whole cry.

Rainer Maria Rilke (tr. Cliff Crego)

[Vielleicht, daß ich durch schwere Berge gehe...]

Vielleicht, daß ich durch schwere Berge gehe
in harten Adern, wie ein Erz allein;
und bin so tief, daß ich kein Ende sehe
und keine Ferne: alles wurde Nähe
und alle Nähe wurde Stein.

Ich bin ja noch kein Wissender im Wehe,—
so macht mich dieses große Dunkel klein;
bist Du es aber: mach dich schwer, brich ein:
daß deine ganze Hand an mir geschehe
und ich an dir mit meinem ganzen Schrein.

Rainer Maria Rilke (Das Stundenbuch (1899 - 1903) /
The Book of Hours)

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New English translations
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