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Monday, 27 August 2012

Rilke in the Far North


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A small mountain pond and fells surrounding Bárrás, Finnmark Fylke, Norway: photo by Villie Miettinnen, 4 September 2006



Lord: it's not time yet. The shrunk summer has slipped
Beneath the sundial floor
And the shadows say: three thirty; quarter to four; four
Fifteen; four thirty. And so on.
The water is a reflecting mirror below the violet slopes at the foot
Of the ashen peaks
And the villagers have retired within the safe enclosure of
Their cottages. If you have no home
Nor place to stay, do not knock on any door. No one
Will answer. Now the sun is going down
And the feeling of winter approaching
Lies upon the hills like hoar frost. Reading, writing
Long letters to yourself, wandering absently in circles, none
Of these things helps. And dry leaves are not yet blowing in that oddly
Menacing way that happens when night falls.


 

13 comments:

Sandra said...

His words imply so much...beautiful words and peaceful atmoshpere !

Joseph Hutchison said...

Best Rilke parody ever! And your string of autumn poems is wonderful. Don't forget Lowell's autumn poems in Day by Day:

Autumn is my favorite season—
why does it change clothes and withdraw?

Keep 'em comin'!

TC said...

Danke, Sandra und Joe!

Rilke would have wanted readers to know that he did not feel completely desolate during his period of voluntary exile in the Far North. The memories of the finely appointed guest chambers in the castles of his erstwhile patronesses burnt into his soul like bolts of cold liquid fire searing into the heart of the sun. He learned some of the local dances, joined a reading group, and was often generously hosted by a kindly local couple, Nicolas and Kristin.

Sandra said...

yes Tom...he did not feel completely desolated...when I read this idea "If you have no home Nor place to stay, do not knock on any door. No one Will answer"
maybe it was not rejection ... but a heart filled situation (?)

Susan Kay Anderson said...

This is what "The Quarry" actually looks like. It is too beautiful (place) for words but what is noticed--time--

"Danke, Sandra and Joe" comment sounds like a poem.

I love "Rilke in the Far North"
because of the sundial floor keeping track of time but the poet keeps track of another sort of time when the sun goes down: it is "the feeling of winter approaching". There are images of comfort that follow like "hoar frost", "letters", "circles", "dry leaves" that are empty yet in their stillness behaving stubbornly, too, and refusing to blow around as they will do later on in the dark.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

Doghair birch and velvet
cover mountains
beside the patch of H
two oh
even here I start to miss
things absent
from my thoughts

Well I died
nobody noticed
not even the rich the known
nor the poor
not known to them either

The herd has found lichen
here often
pick the best to chew
purple glint eyes golden

Susan Kay Anderson said...

We lived inside stone circles
to weigh down the tent
now it is called Barras
where it filled with water

my red felt
zigzags at the seams
where my fingers can follow

they have big hooves
for walking
on the crusty snow
Soviet architecture
down in town
where in summer
at the dance pavilion
others gather
Mosquitoes or no mosquitoes
anyway I left them
to their elbows
their stepping shoes

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

Such clear vision.

gamefaced said...

and so on.

Scott Keeney said...

"Doghair birch" --
read that at first
as Ding dong bitch.

Sorry.

My eyes
need time
to adjust.

John Berryman's ghost.

Let's fuck the arctic sea cover some more.

Dimeter next.

TC said...

Hey Scott,

Doghair birch floats my Hofbrau.

This reclusive author has not yet left the glacier.

Can it be he's on a veritable hot streak?

Susan Kay Anderson said...

The doghair that grows back after aspen or birch are clearcut is quite a bitch to wade through especially if your jeans are wet, boots wet, everything soggy and slow.

larry white said...

Parody...And paradis.
Some absent broadcaster's
sunny weatherman
possessed by the poet
gives the perfect forecast.

"...none
of these things helps"