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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

Death

Rainer Maria Rilke

Come thou, thou last one, whom I recognize,
unbearable pain throughout this body's fabric:
as I in my spirit burned, see, I now burn in thee:
the wood that long resisted the advancing flames
which thou kept flaring, I now am nourishing
and burn in thee.

My gentle and mild being through thy ruthless fury
has turned into a raging hell that is not from here.
Quite pure, quite free of future planning, I mounted
the tangled funeral pyre built for my suffering,
so sure of nothing more to buy for future needs,
while in my heart the stored reserves kept silent.

Is it still I, who there past all recognition burn?
Memories I do not seize and bring inside.
O life! O living! O to be outside!
And I in flames. And no one here who knows me. 



[Written in December 1926, this poem was the last
entry in Rilke's notebook, less than two weeks before his
death at age 51.]


Translated by Albert Ernest Flemming

Added: 2 Mar 2002 | Last Read: 23 Oct 2017 4:10 AM | Viewed: 10713 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/3228/ | Viewed on 23 October 2017.
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