No. 3, from The Sonnets to Orpheus
--Rainer Maria Rilke (trans. Robert Hunter)
Gods are able. Tell how a man, though,
could possibly thread the lyre's narrow modes?
Vacillating at the heart's dark crossroads,
he beholds no temple of Apollo.
Song, you teach us, is beyond achievable desire,
it is rather the sheer reality of immanent being:
simplicity itself for deity,
but how may we partake? When will you inspire
our being, bestowing earth and stars by turn?
This has no relation, youth, to your enamored care:
mouth forced wide by the thrust of your voice - learn
to set aside impassioned music. It will end.
True singing breaths a different air.
Air without object. A gust within God. A wind.