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Unread 11-01-2019, 02:03 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is online now
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Location: Iowa City, IA, USA
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Default Rilke, The Lunatics

The Lunatics (revised)
by Rainer Maria Rilke

They do not speak, because within their heads
the separating walls are taken down,
and hours when they might be understood
arise awhile and then move on.

Often at night, when at the windowsill,
at once they feel completely well.
Their hands are resting on what’s really there,
their hearts are high and capable of prayer,
and their eyes are gazing out, relaxed and still,

on the unhoped-for, frequently defaced
garden in the courtyard’s calmed-down square,
which, in reflection of the worlds elsewhere,
is always growing and does not get lost.


Revisions:
S3L2-3 was "garden in the square, now pacified, / which, in reflection of the worlds outside," then S3L2 was "garden in the now untroubled square," then changed "peaceful" to "calmed-down."


The Lunatics
by Rainer Maria Rilke

They do not speak, because within their heads
the separating walls are taken down,
and hours when they might be understood
arise awhile and then move on.

Often at night, when at the window, they
suddenly feel that all is well.
Their hands are resting on what’s tangible,
their hearts are elevated and could pray,
and their eyes are gazing out, peaceful and still,

on the unhoped-for, frequently defaced
garden in the now untroubled square,
which, in reflection of the worlds out there,
is always growing and does not get lost.


Die Irren

Und sie schweigen, weil die Scheidewände
weggenommen sind aus ihrem Sinn,
und die Stunden, da man sie verstände,
heben an und gehen hin.

Nächtens oft, wenn sie ans Fenster treten:
plötzlich ist es alles gut.
Ihre Hände liegen im Konkreten,
und das Herz ist hoch und könnte beten,
und die Augen schauen ausgeruht

auf den unverhofften, oftentstellten
Garten im beruhigten Geviert,
der im Widerschein der fremden Welten
weiterwächst und niemals sich verliert.


Literal translation:
The Lunatics

And they say nothing, because the partitions
have been taken away inside their minds,
and the hours in which one might understand them
rise up and go away.

Often at night, when they go to the window,
suddenly all is well.
Their hands lie in the tangible,
and their hearts are high and could pray,
and their eyes gaze peacefully

on the unhoped-for, often marred
garden in the calmed-down courtyard,
which in reflection of the outside worlds
keeps growing and never becomes lost.

Last edited by Susan McLean; 11-04-2019 at 06:00 AM.
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