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More poems by Rainer Maria RilkeRainer Maria Rilke | Print this page.Print | View and Write CommentsComments | Books by Rainer Maria RilkeBooks by Rainer Maria Rilke

Black Cat

Rainer Maria Rilke

A ghost, though invisible, still is like a place
your sight can knock on, echoing; but here
within this thick black pelt, your strongest gaze
will be absorbed and utterly disappear:

just as a raving madman, when nothing else
can ease him, charges into his dark night
howling, pounds on the padded wall, and feels
the rage being taken in and pacified.

She seems to hide all looks that have ever fallen
into her, so that, like an audience,
she can look them over, menacing and sullen,
and curl to sleep with them. But all at once

as if awakened, she turns her face to yours;
and with a shock, you see yourself, tiny,
inside the golden amber of her eyeballs
suspended, like a prehistoric fly.


Translated by Stephen Mitchell

Added: 2 Mar 2002 | Last Read: 25 Nov 2017 4:21 AM | Viewed: 8894 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/3224/ | Viewed on 25 November 2017.
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