Sunday, March 20, 2011

Beauty and Terror

It’s Poetry Someday, and my little poetry workshop meets at my kitchen table this afternoon, and later I’ll take dinner to a friend who broke her shoulder and knee going for a walk on the first really beautiful spring day we had this past week.

Here is a link to read/hear “Go to the Limits of Your Longing” by Maria Rainier Rilke, from The Book of Hours, translated by Joanna Macy and Anita Barrows, read by Joanna Macy as part of an interview with Krista Tippett for Being, a public radio program. The interview program, here, is called “A Wild Love for the World,” and Macy is an ecologist, philosopher, and Buddhist, as well as a translator of poetry.

The Rilke poem contains this inner stanza:

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don't let yourself lose me.

It reminds me of a beautiful song, “I Must Be Saved,” by Madeline Peyroux on her Bare Bones album.  Lose anything and everything, says the speaker, but not me.  Somehow a great love song and a great spirit speaking, at once.

Let everything happen to you.


Sandy Longhorn said...

Oh, happy poetry someday!!!!!

seana said...

That's a very beautiful Rilke poem. I hadn't read it before. In fact, I haven't read much Rilke at all, except his prose.

The painting?

Kathleen said...

Seana, sorry I forgot credit/link for painting:
Jacob Wrestling with the Angel, by Alexander Louis Leloir (public domain).

seana said...

Thanks--I don't know him.

ron hardy said...

Hi Kathleen. There is a link on Being to Joanna Macy's web site. This is a more specific link to some of her translations of other Rilke poems like his sonnets. I think all of the Barrows/Macy translations are wonderful.

Kathleen said...

Thanks, Ron!!