Tuesday, August 20, 2013

from "New Year"

how many times at my schoolgirl’s desk:
what’s beyond those mountains? which rivers?
is the scenery nice without tourists?
am I right, Rainer, rain, mountains,
thunder? it’s not a widow’s pretension—
there can’t be just one heaven, there’s bound to be
another one, rainier, above it? with terraces? I’m judging by the Tatras,
heaven has to look like an amphitheater. (and they’re lowering the curtain.)
am I right, Rainer, God’s a growing
baobab tree? not a Louis d’or?
there can’t just be one God? there’s bound to be
another one, rainier, above him?

--from "New Year" by Marina Tsvetaeva, translated by Caroline Lemak Brickman (full text here)

Marina Tsvetaeva wrote this after Rilke died. For the last year of Rilke's life, the two poets had exchanged passionate letters, but they never met.

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