Death Poems - Poems For Death - On Hearing Of A Death

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On Hearing Of A Death - Poem by Rainer Maria Rilke

We lack all knowledge of this parting. Death
does not deal with us. We have no reason
to show death admiration, love or hate;
his mask of feigned tragic lament gives us

a false impression. The world's stage is still
filled with roles which we play. While we worry
that our performances may not please,
death also performs, although to no applause.

But as you left us, there broke upon this stage
a glimpse of reality, shown through the slight
opening through which you dissapeared: green,
evergreen, bathed in sunlight, actual woods.

We keep on playiing, still anxious, our difficult roles
declaiming, accompanied by matching gestures
as required. But your presence so suddenly
removed from our midst and from our play, at times

overcomes us like a sense of that other
reality: yours, that we are so overwhelmed
and play our actual lives instead of the performance,
forgetting altogehter the applause.



Translated by Albert Ernest Flemming


Comments about On Hearing Of A Death by Rainer Maria Rilke

  • Gold Star - 71,358 Points Ratnakar Mandlik (2/14/2017 9:23:00 AM)

    death also performs although to no applause. Thanks for sharing it here. (Report) Reply

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  • Rookie Deanna Radcliffe (12/31/2009 3:50:00 PM)

    i think this peom is saying that as we go about our lives deaf no matter what goes on everywhere and even though it can seem to be bad it can be good.So we shouldn't hate it but we shouldn't like it either.And even when it has passed we still go about our daily lives but with a bit of the pain still there. and is it states forgetting all about the applause. {meaning maybe as it says the worlds a stage you forget about the audience infront and how they might hate it and just live in the reality.] (Report) Reply

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Poems About Death

  1. 1. Let Me Die A Youngman's Death , Roger McGough
  2. 2. And Death Shall Have No Dominion , Dylan Thomas
  3. 3. Death Be Not Proud , John Donne
  4. 4. Death Is Nothing At All , Henry Scott Holland
  5. 5. Because I Could Not Stop For Death , Emily Dickinson
  6. 6. A Refusal To Mourn The Death, By Fire, O.. , Dylan Thomas
  7. 7. Nothing But Death , Pablo Neruda
  8. 8. A Poet's Death Is His Life Iv , Khalil Gibran
  9. 9. A Dream Of Death , William Butler Yeats
  10. 10. Father Death Blues , Allen Ginsberg
  11. 11. An Irish Airman Forsees His Death , William Butler Yeats
  12. 12. The Death Of The Ball Turret Gunner , Randall Jarrell
  13. 13. A Death Blow Is A Life Blow To Some , Emily Dickinson
  14. 14. The Beauty Of Death Xiv , Khalil Gibran
  15. 15. Death Wants More Death , Charles Bukowski
  16. 16. A City's Death By Fire , Derek Walcott
  17. 17. Death , Rainer Maria Rilke
  18. 18. Death Xxvii , Khalil Gibran
  19. 19. After Death , Sara Teasdale
  20. 20. A Funeral Poem On The Death Of C. E. An .. , Phillis Wheatley
  21. 21. A Ballad Of Death , Algernon Charles Swinburne
  22. 22. Death Leaves Us Homesick, Who Behind , Emily Dickinson
  23. 23. The Death Of Joy Gardner , Benjamin Zephaniah
  24. 24. Gacela Of The Dark Death , Federico García Lorca
  25. 25. Go Down, Death , James Weldon Johnson
  26. 26. A Thought For A Lonely Death-Bed , Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  27. 27. On The Death Of That Most Excellent Lady, , Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz
  28. 28. I Have A Rendezvous With Death , Alan Seeger
  29. 29. On The Death Of A Young Lady Of Five Yea.. , Phillis Wheatley
  30. 30. On The Death Of Anne Brontë , Charlotte Brontë
  31. 31. First Death In Nova Scotia , Elizabeth Bishop
  32. 32. On Death , Anne Killigrew
  33. 33. Love &Amp; Fame &Amp; Death , Charles Bukowski
  34. 34. Death &Amp; Fame , Allen Ginsberg
  35. 35. The Death Of The Hired Man , Robert Frost
  36. 36. Death Fugue , Paul Celan
  37. 37. For The Anniversary Of My Death , William Stanley Merwin
  38. 38. If Death Is Kind , Sara Teasdale
  39. 39. As At Thy Portals Also Death , Walt Whitman
  40. 40. Fugue Of Death , Paul Celan
  41. 41. On The Death Of Rev. Mr. George Whitefield , Phillis Wheatley
  42. 42. Death , William Butler Yeats
  43. 43. On Hearing Of A Death , Rainer Maria Rilke
  44. 44. All But Death, Can Be Adjusted , Emily Dickinson
  45. 45. Death , Heinrich Heine
  46. 46. Holy Sonnet X: Death Be Not Proud , John Donne
  47. 47. On Death , Percy Bysshe Shelley
  48. 48. Death Of A Cockroach , Robert William Service
  49. 49. A Death-Bed , Rudyard Kipling
  50. 50. Death Is A Dialogue Between , Emily Dickinson
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