Friday, October 14, 2011
Beautiful and harsh, lush and barren, this sonnet by Rainer Maria Rilke is gorgeously translated by Mary Kinzie:
Day in Autumn
by Rainer Maria Rilke
After the summer's yield, Lord, it is time
to let your shadow lengthen on the sundials
and in the pastures let the rough winds fly.
As for the final fruits, coax them to roundness.
Direct on them two days of warmer light ....
The final five lines of the poem take a jolting turn -- read the rest here, at The Poetry Foundation, because you really have to read the whole thing. You do.
Read the translator's notes here, and read more about Mary Kinzie, here.
And, if you should even for a millisecond believe that a translator of poetry need not be a poet herself, read various translations of the poem here.
The Poetry Friday round up is at Fomagrams.