rilke.html - rilke.html R. M. Rilke Achte Duineser Elegie. Spring is the vital subject of these lines, sending out its annunciation to the world, at first tentatively (as a “fragenden Auflaut”), and then in a crescendo that is both aural and spatial. Aber nicht sie nur In this stanza, it is used as a present participle in a stand-alone formation, the sense of the line being that the essence of form, what makes it what it is, cannot be destroyed by the forces or by the indeterminacy (“not-knowing-whereto”) of fate. of promises …. Register, Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. show it, there! The syntax is so compact that it is difficult to see where the subject of this clause lies. But these are both too precise and too technical, and do not capture the broad, if vague expanse of time that “Weilen” conjures up. “Gestaltung” has a broad semantic ambit in German, which includes “arrangement”, “design”, “presentation”, “structure”, and it is this last meaning that Rilke seems to be employing here, the sense of the line being that even at an early stage our cognitive capacities are formed in a certain way to prevent us from experiencing the world in a spontaneous and open fashion. – This once stood amongst people, / in the midst of Fate, the annihilator, in the midst / of our Not-Knowing-Where-Next, like an existence, and curved / stars down to it out of their sure heavens. B. by us. are turned within, and encircle on every side, like traps, set around its free, outward path. It is possible that the text is attempting to establish an affinity between the “you” of the preceding opening stanza and Springtime, in which case the mental or cognitive meaning of “begreifen” is being evoked. In spite of its obscurity, “clearness” is possibly more appropriate than the preferred translations “freshness” (M, R and R/S) or “cleared air”, which are without that sense of a deeper presence “breathing” through nature. / And where we see the future it sees all, / and, in the all, itself, healed, for ever” (R/S), and “If the animal that moves towards us / with such confidence in another direction, / possessed our kind of consciousness, / it would wrench us around and drag us / under its sway. We put it in order. but with his reclining figure as a covering. The position of speech of the lyrical subject in this stanza is complex. “Heiter” describes a disposition that is either “cheerful” or “serene”, with the former, in this context, better conveying the energy of the bird in flight. Jahrhundert. so that we, whatever we do, have the disposition of someone, forever departing. Ich lebe mein Leben in wachsenden Ringen, die sich über die Dinge ziehn. As the final lines of the stanza make clear, the principle of form helped shape the towering edifices of Western civilisation, including the Sphinx and the “strebende Stemmen, / grau aus vergehender Stadt oder aus fremder, des Doms”, a vital image, conveying the energy of the “striving thrust” (M) of the soaring cathedral (whose monumentality of presence is not conveyed by the translation “spire”). in deinem Anschaun The latter are almost banally common in German (as their equivalents are in English), but their use reflects a common stylistic ploy in the Elegies: to frame statements that are challenging in their linguistic and semantic complexity within familiar grammatical formations. So, after all, we have not / left these generous spaces unused, these our spaces. that would not bear the voice of annunciation. It breaks down. It also loses the effect of sterile monotony that Rilke is aiming for. Once again, Rilke is juxtaposing positive and negative tropes. For it too always feels / the presence of what often overpowers us – / a recollection, as if what we push for / endlessly, once was closer and more true, / our links to it infinitely more tender. Our eyes are “umgekehrt”, from “umkehren” meaning “to turn around” or “to reverse”. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. Tempel kennt er nicht mehr. Even you knew it, / you girls who seemed to be lost, to go under –, in the filthiest / streets of the city, festering there, or wide open / for garbage. We arrange it. / Alone, we see it. For that reason, neither “posture” nor “position” are really appropriate, whilst “has the air” suggests mere appearance. Here everything is distance; but there it was breath. Columns, gateways, This stanza is dominated by tropes of placement (we are positioned, or position ourselves, in the world in such a way that we do no not see what it contains), and those tropes reach their culmination in the concluding lines: “Dieses heißt Schicksal: gegenüber sein und nichts als das und immer gegenüber”. My own breath is too weak / for such praise! The spirit of the age Werbung nicht mehr, nicht Werbung, entwachsene Stimme, Wir ordnens. “Attitude” perhaps more accurately reflects the active nature of this “disposition”, the latter being an alternative translation. “Haltung” means “comportment” or “disposition”: it expresses a quality of selfhood that is directed at or to something (possibly seeking to act on something). reichte sie dir nicht ans Knie –? Oh, to be dead at last, and know them eternally, In this case he is stressing that the cathedral asserts itself, as a potent symbol of the human will to form, even in environments that are alien and in decline deplorable environments. Translations include: “Look, I’ve been calling the lover. The stem of the word is “frei” meaning “free”, and this has been retained by most translators. There is no sense of a dependency. Here everything is distance, / and there it was breath. Uns soll Those who have Oh, you Magnificence, speak it forth First the tiny / questioning grace-note which pure affirmative day / widely wraps with intensifying silence. But not only she / would come … Out of unwithholding graves / girls would come and gather … For how could I limit / the call I had called? die nicht trüge den Ton der Verkündigung. “Andacht”, however, at least within the context of this poem, points to a spiritual presence of the “unfolded powers” (M) of nature, to their sanctity. Most users should sign in with their email address. / And how dismayed is the one who must fly / and who emerges from the womb. The eighth Elegy, in fact, carries Rilke’s most extended meditation on what consciousness is, both as an internal cognitive capacity and as something that takes place in time and space. Lovers (perhaps in their carnal loving) come close to that expansive engagement with the world that the animal enjoys, but their fixation on the self prevents this, and they must return again to the world (the “interpreted world of restricted vision). It has remained “unfathomable” (M) or “unknowable”, but not “inapprehensible” nor “unapprehended” (which are literal translations), neither of which have clear meanings.