Rainer Maria Rilke

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

Lament (Whom will you cry to, heart?)


Whom will you cry to, heart? More and more lonely,
your path struggles on through incomprehensible
mankind. All the more futile perhaps
for keeping to its direction,
keeping on toward the future,
toward what has been lost.

Once. You lamented? What was it? A fallen berry
of jubilation, unripe.
But now the whole tree of my jubilation
is breaking, in the storm it is breaking, my slow
tree of joy.
Loveliest in my invisible
landscape, you that made me more known
to the invisible angels.


Translated by Stephen Mitchell

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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