Rainer Maria Rilke

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

Lady On A Balcony


Suddenly she steps, wrapped into the wind,
brightly into brightness, as if singled out,
while now the room as though cut to fit
behind her fills the door

darkly like the ground of cameo,
that lets a glimmer through at the edges;
and you think the evening wasn't there
before she stepped out, and on the railing

set forth just a little of herself,
just her hands, --to be completely light:
as if passed on by the rows of houses
to the heavens, to be swayed by everything.


Translated by Edward Snow

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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