Treasure Island

Rainer Maria Rilke

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

The Blindman's Song


I am blind, you outsiders. It is a curse,
a contradiction, a tiresome farce,
and every day I despair.
I put my hand on the arm of my wife
(colorless hand on colorless sleeve)
and she walks me through empty air.

You push and shove and think that you've been
sounding different from stone against stone,
but you are mistaken: I alone
live and suffer and howl.
In me there is an endless outcry
and I can't tell what's crying, whether its my
broken heart or my bowels.

Are the tunes familiar? You don't sing them like this:
how could you understand?
Each morning the sunlight comes into your house,
and you welcome it as a friend.
And you know what it's like to see face-to-face;
and that tempts you to be kind.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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