Treasure Island

Rainer Maria Rilke

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

To Lou Andreas-Salome


I held myself too open, I forgot
that outside not just things exist and animals
fully at ease in themselves, whose eyes
reach from their lives' roundedness no differently
than portraits do from frames; forgot that I
with all I did incessantly crammed
looks into myself; looks, opinion, curiosity.
Who knows: perhaps eyes form in space
and look on everywhere. Ah, only plunged toward you
does my face cease being on display, grows
into you and twines on darkly, endlessly,
into your sheltered heart.

As one puts a handkerchief before pent-in-breath-
no: as one presses it against a wound
out of which the whole of life, in a single gush,
wants to stream, I held you to me: I saw you
turn red from me. How could anyone express
what took place between us? We made up for everything
there was never time for. I matured strangely
in every impulse of unperformed youth,
and you, love, had wildest childhood over my heart.

Memory won't suffice here: from those moments
there must be layers of pure existence
on my being's floor, a precipitate
from that immensely overfilled solution.

For I don't think back; all that I am
stirs me because of you. I don't invent you
at sadly cooled-off places from which
you've gone away; even your not being there
is warm with you and more real and more
than a privation. Longing leads out too often
into vagueness. Why should I cast myself, when,
for all I know, your influence falls on me,
gently, like moonlight on a window seat.


Translated by A. Poulin

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Do you like this poem?
2 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: childhood, memory, red, heart, animal, wind

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (To Lou Andreas-Salome by Rainer Maria Rilke )

Enter the verification code :

  • L. M. (4/29/2012 8:35:00 PM)

    How anyone disliked this poem, I don't know. You must not understand love.

    For I don't think back; all that I am
    stirs me because of you.

    That rings true in my spirit! I've been in love since I was a child-there was nothing before my love. Every thought in my being holds that influence! To read the words of one individual that holds so much respect, regard, admiration, and love for another. He did well. (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

New Poems

  1. With love at once, hasmukh amathalal
  2. Through A Puppet's Eyes (2), Dilantha Gunawardana
  3. Illusion perpetuates., Rm.Shanmugam Chettiar.
  4. Love inspired meetings inspire, Rm.Shanmugam Chettiar.
  5. Autumn, Deborah Kelley
  6. Fear of God?, Rm.Shanmugam Chettiar.
  7. Keep On Groovin', Lawrence S. Pertillar
  8. Benefits For Them Do Not Exist, Lawrence S. Pertillar
  9. Come close, hasmukh amathalal
  10. Cows caught, gajanan mishra

Poem of the Day

poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Know'st thou not at the fall of the leaf
How the heart feels a languid grief
Laid on it for a covering,
And how sleep seems a goodly thing
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Randall Jarrell

 

Trending Poems

  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  5. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  6. If, Rudyard Kipling
  7. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  8. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  9. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  10. Nothing Gold Can Stay, Robert Frost

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]