One Day – One Love Poem – Girl in Love

Girl in LoveGirl in Love

That’s my window. This minute
So gently did I alight
From sleep–was still floating in it.
Where has my life its limit
And where begins the night?

I could fancy all things around me
Were nothing but I as yet;
Like a crystal’s depth, profoundly
Mute, translucent, unlit.

I have space to spare inside me
For the stars, too: so full of room
Feels my heart; so lightly
Would it let go of him, whom

For all I know I have started
To love, it may be to hold.
Strange, as if never charted,
Stares my fortune untold.

Why is it I am bedded
Beneath this infinitude,
Fragrant like a meadow,
Hither and thither moved,

Calling out, yet fearing
Someone might hear the cry,
Destined to disappearing
Within another I.
Rainer Maria Rilke


Widely recognized as one of the most lyrically intense German-language poets, Rainer Maria Rilke was unique in his efforts to expand the realm of poetry through new uses of syntax and imagery and in the philosophy that his poems explored. With regard to the former, W. H. Auden declared in New Republic, “Rilke’s most immediate and obvious influence has been upon diction and imagery.” Rilke expressed ideas with “physical rather than intellectual symbols. While Shakespeare, for example, thought of the non-human world in terms of the human, Rilke thinks of the human in terms of the non-human, of what he calls Things (Dinge).” Besides this technique, the other important aspect of Rilke’s writings was the evolution of his philosophy, which reached a climax in Duineser Elegien ( Duino Elegies ) and Die Sonette an Orpheus ( Sonnets to Orpheus). Rejecting the Catholic beliefs of his parents as well as Christianity in general, the poet strove throughout his life to reconcile beauty and suffering, life and death, into one philosophy. As C. M. Bowra observed in Rainer Maria Rilke: Aspects of His Mind and Poetry, “Where others have found a unifying principle for themselves in religion or morality or the search for truth, Rilke found his in the search for impressions and the hope these could be turned into poetry…For him Art was what mattered most in life.”

Rilke was the only child of a German-speaking family in Prague, then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. His father was a retired officer in the Austrian army who worked as a railroad official; his mother, a socially ambitious and possessive woman. At age eleven Rilke began his formal schooling at a military boarding academy, and in 1891, less than a year after transferring to a secondary military school, he was discharged due to health problems, from which he would suffer throughout his life. He immediately returned to Prague, to find that his parents had divorced in his absence. Shortly thereafter he began receiving private instruction toward passing the entrance exams for Prague’s Charles-Ferdinand University. In 1894 his first book of verse, Leben und Lieder: Bilder und Tagebuchblatter, was published.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s