POEM OF THE DAY - RILKE

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POEM OF THE DAY - RILKE

rilke

RILKE the German poet is today's poem of the day.

'I'm not sure yet when you'll have my response. But, listen: a rake at work this early. Above, alone, in the vineyard, a man is already talking with the earth.'

(Galway Kinnell and Hannah Liebmann translation)

 

This poem is almost imagist, reminding me of the likes of William Carlos Williams, where painting a picture with the simplest language is important.

Whenever we discussed poetry in any of my classes, our professors made us dissect every word and piece of punctuation. In the case of Rilke it is vital. I usually hate reading translated poems because I feel like I'm reading the translators' take on it. This poem is so short however, that it's pretty easy to guess what the German version says. Since German language is vastly different from English, the punctuation really drives home the point.

The third line especially: 'I don't know when you'll have my answer, but listen...' could it be that the answer is already out there? Or you already know it?

What do you guys think is the Antwort?