Rainer Maria Rilke

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

The Song Of The Blindman


I am blind, you out there -- that is a curse,
against one's will, a contradiction,
a heavy daily burden.
I lay my hand on the arm of my wife,
my grey hand upon her greyer grey,
as she guides me through empty spaces.

You move about and stir, and imagine
your sounds differing from stone to stone.
But you are mistaken: I alone
live and suffer and complain, for
in me is an endless crying,
and I do not know whether it is
my heart that cries or my bowels.

Do you recognize these songs? You never sang them,
not quite with this intonation.
For you every morning brings its new light
warm through your open windows.
And you have the feeling from face to face
that tempts you to be indulgent.


Translated by Albert Ernest Flemming

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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