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Michael R Burch Feb 2020
Archaischer Torso Apollos (“Archaic Torso of Apollo”)
by Rainer Maria Rilke
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

We cannot know the beheaded god
nor his eyes’ forfeited visions. But still
the figure’s trunk glows with the strange vitality
of a lamp lit from within, while his composed will

emanates dynamism. Otherwise
the firmly muscled abdomen could not beguile us,
nor the centering ***** make us smile
at the thought of their generative animus.

Otherwise the stone might seem deficient,
unworthy of the broad shoulders, of the groin
projecting procreation’s triangular spearhead upwards,

unworthy of the living impulse blazing wildly within
like an inchoate star—demanding our belief.
You must change your life.

Keywords/Tags: German, translation, sonnet, Rainer Maria Rilke, god, Apollo, vision, visions, trunk, abdomen, body, torso, muscle, muscles, muscular, eyes, vision, visions, vitality, will, lamp, light, dynamic, dynamism, *****, groin, stone, phallus, ****, *****, animus, star, change, life



This is my translation of the first of Rilke’s Duino Elegies. Rilke began the first Duino Elegy in 1912, as a guest of Princess Marie von Thurn und Taxis, at Duino Castle, near Trieste on the Adriatic Sea.

First Elegy
by Rainer Maria Rilke
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Who, if I objected, would hear me among the angelic orders?
For if the least One pressed me intimately against its breast,
I would be lost in its infinite Immensity!
Because beauty, which we mortals can barely endure, is the beginning of terror;
we stand awed when it benignly declines to annihilate us.
Every Angel is terrifying!

And so I restrain myself, swallowing the sound of my pitiful sobbing.
For whom may we turn to, in our desire?
Not to Angels, nor to men, and already the sentient animals are aware
that we are all aliens in this metaphorical existence.
Perhaps some tree still stands on a hillside, which we can study with our ordinary vision.
Perhaps the commonplace street still remains amid man’s fealty to materiality—
the concrete items that never destabilize.
Oh, and of course there is the night: her dark currents caress our faces ...

But whom, then, do we live for?
That longed-for but mildly disappointing presence the lonely heart so desperately desires?
Is life any less difficult for lovers?
They only use each other to avoid their appointed fates!
How can you fail to comprehend?
Fling your arms’ emptiness into this space we occupy and inhale:
may birds fill the expanded air with more intimate flying!

Yes, the springtime still requires you.
Perpetually a star waits for you to recognize it.
A wave recedes toward you from the distant past,
or as you walk beneath an open window, a violin yields virginally to your ears.
All this was preordained. But how can you incorporate it? ...
Weren't you always distracted by expectations, as if every event presaged some new beloved?
(Where can you harbor, when all these enormous strange thoughts surging within you keep
you up all night, restlessly rising and falling?)

When you are full of yearning, sing of loving women, because their passions are finite;
sing of forsaken women (and how you almost envy them)
because they could love you more purely than the ones you left gratified.

Resume the unattainable exaltation; remember: the hero survives;
even his demise was merely a stepping stone toward his latest rebirth.

But spent and exhausted Nature withdraws lovers back into herself,
as if lacking the energy to recreate them.
Have you remembered Gaspara Stampa with sufficient focus—
how any abandoned girl might be inspired by her fierce example
and might ask herself, "How can I be like her?"

Shouldn't these ancient sufferings become fruitful for us?

Shouldn’t we free ourselves from the beloved,
quivering, as the arrow endures the bowstring's tension,
so that in the snap of release it soars beyond itself?
For there is nowhere else where we can remain.

Voices! Voices!

Listen, heart, as levitating saints once listened,
until the elevating call soared them heavenward;
and yet they continued kneeling, unaware, so complete was their concentration.

Not that you could endure God's voice—far from it!

But heed the wind’s voice and the ceaseless formless message of silence:
It murmurs now of the martyred young.

Whenever you attended a church in Naples or Rome,
didn't they come quietly to address you?
And didn’t an exalted inscription impress its mission upon you
recently, on the plaque in Santa Maria Formosa?
What they require of me is that I gently remove any appearance of injustice—
which at times slightly hinders their souls from advancing.

Of course, it is endlessly strange to no longer inhabit the earth;
to relinquish customs one barely had the time to acquire;
not to see in roses and other tokens a hopeful human future;
no longer to be oneself, cradled in infinitely caring hands;
to set aside even one's own name,
forgotten as easily as a child’s broken plaything.

How strange to no longer desire one's desires!
How strange to see meanings no longer cohere, drifting off into space.
Dying is difficult and requires retrieval before one can gradually decipher eternity.

The living all err in believing the too-sharp distinctions they create themselves.

Angels (men say) don't know whether they move among the living or the dead.
The eternal current merges all ages in its maelstrom
until the voices of both realms are drowned out in its thunderous roar.

In the end, the early-departed no longer need us:
they are weaned gently from earth's agonies and ecstasies,
as children outgrow their mothers’ *******.

But we, who need such immense mysteries,
and for whom grief is so often the source of our spirit's progress—
how can we exist without them?

Is the legend of the lament for Linos meaningless—
the daring first notes of the song pierce our apathy;
then, in the interlude, when the youth, lovely as a god, has suddenly departed forever,
we experience the emptiness of the Void for the first time—
that harmony which now enraptures and comforts and aids us?



Keywords/Tags: Rilke, elegy, elegies, angels, beauty, terror, terrifying, desire, vision, reality, heart, love, lovers, beloved, rose, saints, spirits, souls, ghosts, voices, torso, Apollo, Rodin, panther, autumn, beggar
All birds fly towards the north
When the weather goes to be hot
And fly towards the south
When the cold spreads the wings
And destroys all nests

Except my birds
They fly towards your heart
Asking, screaming and shouting
You are the worst spy
When they meet your birds
They sing a deathless song
Making every poor land converted to be kind
And the loosing mind returning his mind
The old trunk gets strong
Branches covering with colored and smart
Roses

The bees put their honey
Making me taste it as your honey
Love, that makes me in happy
All the world gets funny
And the birds dance with harmony
The fishes swim in circles
Making the water spreads atoms
All over the world, that makes the flies tends
Once the left and the right at once

The important my birds get wide
Not distance, but from my sight
And I will whisper at your beauty ear
I hate my birds as they go to yours
That is obvious for all viewers
But I wish to be with them by yours
the love changes every look and make one forgives all worst from his love. if the love governs the world the beauty will spread
There was a mother of goat
She had three kinder
She ordered them in hardness matter
"Don't ever and ever open the door under

Any raison
Even one says she is your mother
Wants to tell or has an order"
They all agreed and she went for work
There was a stranger

Passed by the neighbor
He was the greed bear
He said to himself in whisper
As he heard the kinder playing at higher

Voice reflecting their cheer
,"these must be fat
I will eat and lost my hunger"
He watched the home three days with great hear
He heard the mother telling that order
After the mother went, he went there

He knocked the door
When one answered in clear
He said, "I am your mother
Open the door to have a fare"
The first believe that

The first forgot the order
He opened the door at fast
The bear was so hunger
He took him out and ate at faster
When the mother returned

She found them had decreased
When she was learnt
She cried a lot
On the following day, she ordered

When she went, the greed bear came at fast
The door was knocked
He said, "I am your mother
Open the door to have a fare"

The second believe that
The second forgot the order
He opened the door at fast
The bear was so hunger

He took him out and ate at faster
When the mother returned
She found them had decreased
When she asked

She cried a lot
On the following day, she ordered
When she went the greed bear came at fast
The door was knocked

He said, "I am your mother
Open the door to have a fare"
The third did not believe that
He ordered him to stretch his hand

The bear forget the difference between his hand
And the shape of the goat's hand
The small goat said,"
Wait to get your hand kissed"

He got a rope that was a strong
And tided his with the stable rod
The small kid called all neighbor
While the bear screamed, mercy asked

His mother was attended
The bear was so hurt
The mother stroke his trunk
The swollen kinder were out

They were so sorry
They apologized to their omission
They said," we learnt a lesson
We will not forget forever"
Obey your mother

Obey your father
They knew more, more
They have more experience
And know which intelligence is

And which is carrying the worse
the greed have been great suffer, to fill his hunger and greedy. obeying the parents as the knew more
Danielle Jul 2018
Well, there had been a tree
All soft gray trunk,
Crawling with snails after the rain,
And carved with symbols of naïve love.
You couldn’t climb the branches to the sky,
But they could cradle you as you watched the world go by.
Sadly when I came back to live with my parents after my break up the tree was gone. I think that it had been hit by lightning and they had to remove it. I had been looking forward to seeing the names that had been carved into it again.
Kuvar Mar 2018
This is the story
Of a Truck driver
Who never stops driving
Unwillingly he lives on the road
Hoping he will find love in motion
He wasn't looking to love someone else
He is searching love for himself
And at the same time
He is running  from feelings
Running from the hurts
He should be told
He carries it on every road
That head that tells him
O! Truck driver
navigate left away from tragic street
For twenty four years
And yet today
He is still driving
Hoping the road will teach him
To love himself again
another tilting
the site was there
she knocked
on
my
window
after
we
kissed her
there was
an
other tilting
?








...
..
.
how could we stack
his words to let you feel
shut you mouth
or your
fingers
...
..
.
that letter
she never wrote me
is
still
burning

in her

just
let
me
read
that letter
?






...
..
.
oh my our goodness
we just
...
..
.
sometimes he feels
like an girl
just
ask
her
as
she
appeals
some times
he
feels
?






...
..
.
her fingernails
dug into
the
lid
of
...
..
.
she kissed me
her
jaw dropped

off

sand fills my mouth
she puts her jaw back on
then whistles
here
kitty-kitty
here her
kitty
my
pit-bull
snorts snot
computationally crazy

clouds on my shoulders turn dark
from sword to piercing spear


i
throw

I
run

I
turn
around

bulls eye on my heart

can't you see we are killing myself

she ran an got the gun

let me do the funny part

just let me watch you in misery

untill the sun goes down

then
she
kissed





me
?








...
..
.
this was her
second to last
from
the
...
..
.
she cried
in
an
circle

she thought

till
puddles
she cried
then
she
an
me
but
not really

am
i
her

no no no
not
really
she cried
?






...
..
.
could you
...
..
.
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