Rainer Maria Rilke

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

Girl's Lament - Poem by Rainer Maria Rilke

In the years when we were
all children, this inclining
to be alone so much was gentle;
others' time passed fighting,
and one had one's faction,
one's near, one's far-off place,
a path, an animal, a picture.

And I still imagined, that life
would always keep providing
for one to dwell on things within,
Am I within myself not in what's greatest?
Shall what's mine no longer soothe
and understand me as a child?

Suddenly I'm as if cast out,
and this solitude surrounds me
as something vast and unbounded,
when my feeling, standing on the hills
of my breasts, cries out for wings
or for an end.


Translated by Edward Snow


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Read poems about / on: animal, solitude, snow, children, child, alone, girl, time, life



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



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