Deadlines, early mornings and the cognitive comfort of Rilke

As advised by physiotherapist

Actually, I am supposed to be using’ a wheat-pack at all times when writing. However, we don’t have a microwave here at home so hot-water-bottle it is.

This particular poem reminded me of another (or part thereof), which I will post as a comment or in brief as an additional post.

There is something more than craft and art about translating poetry. This particular volume (which I have written about before) is selected and translated by Galway Kinnell and Hannah Liebmann (1999). Published by HarperCollins, New York.


The Swan

The drudgery of trudging through tasks

yet undone, heavily, as if bound,

is like the swan’s not fully created walking.


And dying, this no longer being able

to hold the ground we stand on every day,

like the swan’s anxious letting himself down -:


into the waters, which gently accept him

and, as if happy and already in the past,

draw away under him, ripple upon ripple,

while he, now utterly quiet and sure

and ever more mature and regal

and composed, is pleased to glide.


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