Loved one lost

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Paris, Winter 1913-14

You, the loved one lost
in advance, you who never arrived,
I don’t even know what sounds you like best.
No longer, when the future crests toward the present,
do I try to discern you. All the great
images in me—the landscape widening far off,
cities and towers and bridges and un-
suspected turns in the path
and the forcefulness of those lands
once intertwined with gods:
they all mount up in me to signify
you, forever not here.

You are the gardens.
With such hope
I saw them. An open window
in the country house–, and you almost
stepped out pensively to meet me. I found streets, –
you had just walked down them,
and sometimes the mirrors in the merchants’ shops
were still drunk with you and with a start
reflected my too-sudden image. –Who knows
if the same birdsong did not ring through both of us
yesterday, each of us alone, at evening?

Rainer Maria Rilke, (Untitled),  The Poetry of Rilke, trans. and ed. Edward Snow, New York: North Point Press (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), 2009: 523.

via Make Bright the Sparrows

And also this version, which is quite different.

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December 19, 2012. Tags: , . poetry.

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