CLIFF CREGO | Lostine River Valley & Hurricane Ridge, view North from Upper Lake,  Eagle Cap Wilderness

Lostine River Valley & Hurricane Ridge, view North from Upper Lake,
Eagle Cap Wilderness
On the road in the American Northwest . . . [ click photo for next . . . / BUY print ]

the German by
Rainer Maria Rilke

We know nothing of this going away, that
shares nothing with us. We have no reason,
whether astonishment and love or hate,
to display Death, whom a fantastic mask

of tragic lament astonishingly disfigures.
Now the world is still full of roles which we play
as long as we make sure, that, like it or not,
Death plays, too, although he does not please us.

But when you left, a strip of reality broke
upon the stage through the very opening
through which you vanished: Green, true green,
true sunshine, true forest.

We continue our play. Picking up gestures
now and then, and anxiously reciting
that which was difficult to learn; but your far away,
removed out of our performance existence,

sometimes overcomes us, as an awareness
descending upon us of this very reality,
so that for a while we play Life
rapturously, not thinking of any applause.

Rainer Maria Rilke (tr. Cliff Crego)


Wir wissen nichts von diesem Hingehn, das
nicht mit uns teilt. Wir haben keinen Grund,
Bewunderung und Liebe oder Haß
dem Tod zu zeigen, den ein Maskenmund

tragischer Klage wunderlich entstellt.
Noch ist die Welt voll Rollen, die wir spielen,
solang wir sorgen, ob wir auch gefielen,
spielt auch der Tod, obwohl er nicht gefällt.

Doch als du gingst, da brach in diese Bühne
ein Streifen Wirklichkeit durch jenen Spalt,
durch den du hingingst: Grün wirklicher Grüne,
wirklicher Sonnenschein, wirklicher Wald.

Wir spielen weiter. Bang und schwer Erlerntes
hersagend und Gebärden dann und wann
aufhebend; aber dein von uns entferntes,
aus unserm Stück entrücktes Dasein kann

uns manchmal überkommen, wie ein Wissen
von jener Wirklichkeit sich niedersenkend,
so daß wir eine Weile hingerissen
das Leben spielen, nicht an Beifall denkend.

aus: Neue Gedichte (c. 1907)

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Please visit my MOUNTAIN WATER
print gallery
. Above is a set of 37 recent images.
(Mouseover controls.)

I might just mention here, following the ethical principle,
First, do no harm, I never use cars or snowmachine. I
do everything on foot, bike or ski. I think this in a
deep and direct way affects my work, and how I see
the world. So all the photos above were approached
on foot, including all the in between spaces, sometimes
involving journeys of weeks or months.

I would not want to work any other way.

for $49.95 + shipping or
download as e-Book for $14.95

New English translations
from the German of 80
of Rainer Maria Rilke's
best poems, together
with 120 color prints
from the High Wallowas.
With introduction . . .

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All Photographs & texts by Cliff Crego © 2011
(created: VII.27.2008)