Travelogue IX: Moving on



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 reif zu sein
gib Ihnen noch zwei südlichere Tage
dräng 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 lesen, wachen, lange Briefe schreiben
und wird auf den Alleen hin und her
unruhig wandern, wenn die Blätter treiben.

Autumn Day

Lord: it is time. The summer was immense.
Lay your shadow on the sundials
and let loose the wind in the fields.

Bid the last fruits to be full;
give them another two more southerly days,
press them to ripeness, and chase
the last sweetness into the heavy wine. 

Whoever has no house now will not build one anymore.
Whoever is alone now will remain so for a long time,
will stay up, read, write long letters,
and wander the avenues, up and down,
restlessly, while the leaves are blowing.

Rainer Maria Rilke


30. August, 2014 When I was in German 201, which seems like decades ago, during the first week of September our professor made us read the Rilke poem out loud again and again and again. It’s lovely, filigree-fine–impossible to translate into good English.

Suddenly it is autumn on the farm. The tomato plants are turning brown, the plums are falling from the trees, the leaves perhaps aren’t as green as they were two weeks ago. Summer’s over….strange.

And I’m moving on, too–I’ll be in Mainz by this evening, where I will have the chance to unpack my suitcase for the first time in two months. It will be good to get there.

3 thoughts on “Travelogue IX: Moving on

  1. Emily
    May your new digs prove to be the best so far, and my goodness, you’ve had some mighty fine ones this year, including VT!
    Wishing you a lively and exciting transition, filled with the luscious unknown that awaits you.
    Je t’embrasse

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