Showing 1 - 5 of 5 annotations associated with Rilke, Rainer Maria
The "laboring through what is still undone" is difficult and awkward like a swan's walking. But dying is like the swan leaving dry land. The water "receives him gently" and he moves with grace. The swan appears indifferent as he "condescends to glide." [12 lines]
- Aull, Felice
Summary:The poem, written in German, appears in both German and English in this and other versions. Those who understand German may feel that something has been lost in translation, inevitable for rhyming poetry. Nevertheless the "endless outcry" of isolation and bitterness is well expressed. This blind man is totally unresigned to his condition; "every day I despair." He feels himself uniquely cursed. He mocks those who are sighted for believing that THEY might be special and he is contemptuous of any kindness shown him: no one can understand how he feels.
- Donley, Carol
Summary:This sad poem, in the dwarf’s voice, describes the pain of having "crooked blood" and hands that "hop around sluggishly / like toads after a rain." The dwarf wonders why God doesn’t just throw him out on the dump because his body is so distorted and worn out.
Summary:This 16 line poem describes a nearly-blind woman sitting at a table at a party: "she seemed to hold her cup / a little differently . . . . " Afterward, she gets up slowly and follows the others "through many rooms (they talked and laughed)," but she moves far behind the others, "absorbed, like someone who will soon / have to sing before a large assembly . . . . "
Summary:Two persons are washing the body of a dead man. It becomes dark and they light the kitchen lamp. Because they don't know the man, they invent his story: "since they knew nothing about his life / they lied till they produced another one . . . . " When the body is finally washed, it "lay clean and naked there, and gave commands."