Sunday, November 28, 2010

Rilke... Poetry and Spirituality -- What would you write to Orpheus?

What would YOU write to Orpheus?

“The "small russet sails" of the sonnets (Rilke's description) were written
at the same time as “the dark rigging of the greater” Duino Elegies which
are freeform unrhymed verse; The Sonnets to Orpheus: bright, discrete songs,
range in tone from transcendent to cantankerous but follow a tight rhyme
scheme in German.
(intro followed by an interesting translation)

I, 7 : Praising is what matters

The idea of the resurrection - “ore from a stone’s silence” (Schweigen is
only one word for silence - used in idioms such as “keep one’s peace; silent
majority; keep silent)

immortal pressed out of his heart like a winepress presses out wine
Ecstasy associated with Dionysios

How do you associate this sonnet with Orpheus with the Christian imagery?

I,8: Only in the realm of Praising should Lament / go,

The joy KNOWS, the fullness of being engaged with life, as opposed to
Lament, who is still learning.
Longing has accepted it. But Rilke paints a picture of Lament finally able
to make our voices into patterns of stars in the heavens.

two translations of Sonnet #6: Bly and Edward Snow:
Sonnet 6 by Rainer Maria Rilke

How to understand what it must be like to be of this world and not -- living and knowing the dead; How do you understand the clarity of the subconscious?

Vs. Ted Kooser's selection "Nocturne" -- how a man can try to better himself, but that might not be enough.
"He can play nocturnes by heart / they will not make the beloved appear."
Whatever effort we extend, we cannot expect any return.

10/14 we also discussed Robert Bly, his loosely-reminiscent ghazal, "Dawn" -- the paradox of beauty and impermanence,
if we can't find heaven, there are always bluejays // but there are also blue-coated sons who will die at dawn.

conversations of night sea with the dawn.
Cries.. disturbed at dawn.
Racoons washing God in the streams at dawn.
die at dawn
appear at dawn
disappear at dawn.

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