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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

The Sonnets To Orpheus: Book 2: VI

Rainer Maria Rilke

Rose, you majesty-once, to the ancients, you were
just a calyx with the simplest of rims.
But for us, you are the full, the numberless flower,
the inexhaustible countenance.

In your wealth you seem to be wearing gown upon gown
upon a body of nothing but light;
yet each seperate petal is at the same time the negation
of all clothing and the refusal of it.

Your fragrance has been calling its sweetest names
in our direction, for hundreds of years;
suddenly it hangs in the air like fame.

Even so, we have never known what to call it; we guess...
And memory is filled with it unawares
which we prayed for from hours that belong to us.


Translated by Stephen Mitchell

Added: 2 Mar 2002 | Last Read: 20 Jan 2018 1:50 PM | Viewed: 3514 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/3300/ | Viewed on 20 January 2018.
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