golempoem

poems, golems, poems

Rainer Maria Rilke: “Autumn Day”

Posted by matt on 25 November 2007

autumn wind (bob jagendorf)

HERBSTTAG

Herr: es ist Zeit. Der Sommer war sehr groß.
Leg deinen Schatten auf die Sonnenuhren,
und auf den Fluren laß die Winde los.

Befiehl den letzten Früchten voll zu sein;
gieb ihnen noch zwei südlichere Tage,
dränge sie zur Vollendung hin und jage
die letzte Süße in den schweren Wein.

Wer jetzt kein Haus hat, baut sich keines mehr.
Wer jetzt allein ist, wird es lange bleiben,
wird wachen, lesen, lange Briefe schreiben
und wird in den Alleen hin und her
unruhig wandern, wenn die Blätter treiben.

Rainer Maria Rilke

AUTUMN DAY

Lord: it is time. The huge summer has gone by.
Now overlap the sundials with your shadows,
and on the meadows let the wind go free.

Command the fruits to swell on tree and vine;
grant them a few more warm transparent days,
urge them on to fulfillment then, and press
the final sweetness into the heavy wine.

Whoever has no house now, will never have one.
Whoever is alone will stay alone,
will sit, read, write long letters through the
evening,
and wander the boulevards, up and down,
restlessly, while the dry leaves are blowing.

Translated by Stephen Mitchell

Photo credit: Autumn Wind by Bob Jagendorf 

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3 Responses to “Rainer Maria Rilke: “Autumn Day””

  1. I am often saddened by how badly Mitchell manages to mutilate Rilke.

    Alas.

  2. WJ Boden said

    I am regularly uplifted by Mitchell’s translations.
    WJ Boden

  3. matt said

    So am I, William, thanks. Matt

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