Wednesday Words

In the Drawing Room

How they’re all around us, these gentlemen
in chamberlain’s dress and jabots,
like a night growing ever darker
around its Order Star, implacably,
and these ladies, slight and fragile, yet
made large by their dresses, one hand in their laps,
small, like a tiny dog with its collar:
how they’re around us all: around the reader,
around the peruser of these bibelots,
of which several remain their property.

Tactful, they let us live life undisturbed
as we conceive it and as they fail
to understand it. They wanted to blossom,
and blossoming is being beautiful. But we want to ripen,
and this means being dark and taking pains.

 

— from¬†The Poetry of Rilke: Bilingual Edition, trans. & ed. Edward Snow (North Point Press, 2009)

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