Rainer Maria Rilke

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

Piano Practice


The summer hums. The afternoon fatigues;
she breathed her crisp white dress distractedly
and put into it that sharply etched etude
her impatience for a reality

that could come: tomorrow, this evening--,
that perhaps was there, was just kept hidden;
and at the window, tall and having everything,
she suddenly could feel the pampered park.

With that she broke off; gazed outside, locked
her hands together; wished for a long book--
and in a burst of anger shoved back
the jasmine scent. She found it sickened her.


Translated by Edward Snow

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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