japonisme: versions of rilke -- from 'the book of hours'

23 March 2008

versions of rilke -- from 'the book of hours'

Ich finde dich in allen diesen Dingen,
denen ich gut und wie ein Bruder bin;
als Samen sonnst du dich in den geringen
und in den großen giebst du groß dich hin.

Das ist das wundersame Spiel der Kräfte,
dass sie so dienend durch die Dinge gehn:
in Wurzeln wachsend, schwindend in die Schäfte
und in den Wipfeln wie ein Auferstehn.

(the original german)

I find you in all these things of the world
that I love calmly, like a brother;
in things no one cares for you brood like a seed;
and to powerful things you give an immense power.

Strength plays such a marvelous game --
it moves through the things of the world like a servant,
groping out in roots, tapering in trunks,
and in the treetops like a rising from the dead.

(robert bly translation)

In all these thing I cherish as a brother
still it is you I find; seedlike you wait,
basking serenely in the narrowest compass,
and greatly give yourself in what is great.

This is the marvel of the play of forces,
that they so serve the things where
through they flow: growing in roots, to dwindle in the tree-trunks,
and in the crowns like resurrection show.

(babette deutsch translation)

I find you there
in all these things
I care for like a brother.
A seed, you nestle in the smallest of them,
and in the huge ones spread yourself hugely.

Such is the amazing play
of the powers:
they who give themselves
so willingly,
swelling in the roots, thinning as the trunks rise,
and in the high leaves, resurrection.

(anita barrows, joanna macy translation)

i see you in all
these things

that i love like my own brother:
the lowly, for whom you are the seed,
the grand
whom you crown.

such is the marvel of your power,
freely to each
as she needs:

thickening her roots,
rising through her trunk,

and from her leaves, resurrection.

(my own attempt, as i really hate the one remaining that i could put my hands on, and because i think this really is the song of spring and i don't know that the truest essence is captured yet. care to try?)

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Blogger Dominic Bugatto said...

Nothing like starting the week with a Yoshida ;)

24 March, 2008 21:07  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

indeed. i was just thinking yesterday about how long i've loved his work.

25 March, 2008 07:46  

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hi, and thanks so much for stopping by. i spend all too much time thinking my own thoughts about this stuff, so please tell me yours. i thrive on the exchange!

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