Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What Survives




What Survives



Who says that all must vanish?
Who knows, perhaps the flight
of the bird you wound remains,
and perhaps flowers survive
caresses in us, in their ground.

It isn't the gesture that lasts,
but it dresses you again in gold
armor --from breast to knees--
and the battle was so pure
an Angel wears it after you.


Translated by A. Poulin

It looks like the poem was originally written in French :

Qui te dit que tout disparaisse?
De l'oiseau que tu blesses,
Qui sait s'il ne reste le vol?
Et peut-être les fleurs des caresses
Survivent à nous, de leur sol.

Ce n'est pas le geste qui dure,
Mais il nous revêt de l'armure
D'or, des flancs aux genoux,
Et tant la bataille fut pure,
Un ange la porte après nous.

Rainer Maria Rilke

1 comment:

  1. Quite wonderful. I didn't guess it was Rilke.

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