Rainer Maria Rilke

(4 December 1875 – 29 December 1926 / Prague / Czech Republic)

Before Summer Rain


Suddenly, from all the green around you,
something-you don't know what-has disappeared;
you feel it creeping closer to the window,
in total silence. From the nearby wood

you hear the urgent whistling of a plover,
reminding you of someone's Saint Jerome:
so much solitude and passion come
from that one voice, whose fierce request the downpour

will grant. The walls, with their ancient portraits, glide
away from us, cautiously, as though
they weren't supposed to hear what we are saying.

And reflected on the faded tapestries now;
the chill, uncertain sunlight of those long
childhood hours when you were so afraid.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Rookie - 953 Points Michael Morgan (8/4/2014 9:56:00 PM)

    referring to the bird, the German says 'regen-pfeiffer', I believe, or 'rain-piper'. Plover doesn't do it. MM (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 4,555 Points Václav Z J Pinkava (6/25/2013 4:46:00 AM)

    Before the Summer Rain

    Suddenly out of all green in the park,
    you don't know what, a something, taken, wanes;
    you feel like coming closer to the panes,
    there, silent, bide. Just fervently and stark,
    out of the wood intones the piping plover,
    you think of some Hieronymus of hush:
    such yearning earnest solitude and fever,
    this solo sounding voice, whom waters' gush
    will soon hear out. Walls of the hall recoiled
    with all their pictures from us, pulled away,
    so as not to eavesdrop on us, as they might.
    The faded wallpaper reflects the day,
    the not so certain post meridian light,
    in which you were afraid, while still a child.

    (transl vzjp) (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 4,555 Points Václav Z J Pinkava (6/24/2013 4:08:00 PM)

    Original:

    Vor dem Sommerregen

    Auf einmal ist aus allem Grün im Park
    man weiß nicht was, ein Etwas, fortgenommen;
    man fühlt ihn näher an die Fenster kommen
    und schweigsam sein. Inständig nur und stark

    ertönt aus dem Gehölz der Regenpfeifer,
    man denkt an einen Hieronymus:
    so sehr steigt irgend Einsamkeit und Eifer
    aus dieser einen Stimme, die der Guß

    erhören wird. Des Saales Wände sind
    mit ihren Bildern von uns fortgetreten,
    als dürften sie nicht hören was wir sagen.

    Es spiegeln die verblichenen Tapeten
    das ungewisse Licht von Nachmittagen,
    in denen man sich fürchtete als Kind. (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 4,555 Points L. M. (4/1/2012 8:11:00 PM)

    And reflected on the faded tapestries now;
    the chill, uncertain sunlight of those long
    childhood hours when you were so afraid.


    That was when I realized this guy was amazing. (Report) Reply

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