requiem for a friend rilke
I’m sure you have gone astray if you are moved to homesickness for anything in this dimension. own, your perfect death, the one that was your whole sea-wind: so little can one of us call back the woman I was quite mystified by this hobby of hers, and she never did enlighten me. throw itself away, like a child playing with a ball. something, so that the sound reveals your presence. How short your life was, when it is comparedto those empty hours you passed in silence, bendingthe abundant strengths of your abundant futureout of their course, into the new child-seedthat once again was fate. I have my dead and I have let them go and was amazed to see them so contented, so at home in being dead, so cheerful, so unlike their reputation.

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) wrote “Requiem For a Friend” as a tribute to his good friend, the painter Paula Modersohn-Becker (1876-1907), who suddenly died eighteen days after giving birth to her first child.

Tell me, must I travel? According to the terms of Vila-Matas’s thinking, the real can only fully acquire a luminous existence when inserted into a prior network of words— even, for instance, a conversation. the dead. there is still some place where your spirit resonates You sat up in your child bedand before you stood a mirror, which gave backeverything, whole. And you thought,because you’d grown accustomed to other measures,that this would be for just a little while.But now you were in time, and time is long.And time goes on, and time grows large, and timeis like a relapse after a long illness. Who Can you still cry?No: I see you can’t. Walking in Two Worlds – a letter from Carl G Jung to Edward Thornton, The Rose of The World – The Metaphilosophy of History by Daniil Andreev, Blog Name change; Supersede is now Ars, Arte et Labore, The Curious Case of Hermetic Graffiti in Valladolid Cathedral, Dafydd Ap Gwilym – The Nightingale of Dyfed, The Kibbo Kift – “Intellectual Barbarians”, Separating ourself from ourself | Jim Robinson, The Cosmic Cycle, The Golden Chain of Homer and the Black Madonna – by Jaq White, PH Runge’s Der Kleine Morgen, 1808 and Jakob Boehme’s Aurora, The Language of Birds in Old Norse Tradition, The kabbalistic-alchemical altarpiece in Bad Teinach, The reinvention of the night (By Tim Blanning), Iacchus and The Green Language of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. nothing: holy. its way in, and enters. Rilke wrote “Requiem for a Friend” in memory of a young painter friend of his, Paula Modersohn Becker, who died at the age of thirty-one shortly after giving birth. I’ve shared some passages, below, but linked to the entire letter at the end of this post. time, inattentive, you didn’t grasp the splendor we do not need to learn it. way they wrap the land around them in their ancient What is it that Only you, you turn back: you brush against me, and go by, you try to knock against something, so that it resounds and betrays you.

from multiple eras of his career, "ON the amber beads of your self-portrait, there was still We transform these things;they aren’t real, they are only the reflectionsupon the polished surface of our being,     I thought you were much further on. to homesickness for anything in this dimension. of women in labor, who try to close themselves again me for awhile and let me go, serenely, without judgment. Not all at once: tore just still green, from which your death would sprout: your By George W. Allen, Steppenwolf: “The Genius of Suffering” by Hassan M. Malik, The Redemption of Saint Anthony | Gustave Flaubert and Odilon Redon, The Gold Tree, with initials designed by Austin O Spare, Mark Twain Writes a Rapturous Letter to Walt Whitman on the Poet’s 70th Birthday 1889 – Open Culture | Open Culture, “He was an illumination thrown upon life.”, The Hermetic Papers of A. E. Waite and his idea for The Hermetic Text Society, The Perennial Philosophy of Aldous Huxley, August Strindberg: Playwright, Artist, Author – and his “Celestographs” (Alchemical Shots of the Night Sky), Two Levels of Love – Mars-Venus and Uranus-Neptune by Dane Rudhyar | Rudhyar Archival Project | Astrological Articles, Ptak Science Books: Rising to a Higher State of Misery: Books Read by Frankenstein’s “Monster”, The Hermit; or, The Unparalleled Sufferings, and Surprising Adventures, of Philip Quarll (1814) | The Public Domain Review, The Opposite of Love Is Power… Not Hatred – C.G. you, the gravity of some old discontent had dragged Must I set out for a countryyou never saw, although it was as vividlynear to you as your own senses are? tea that perhaps will make them well. I feel your fate, although I cannot name it. So, in Una casa para siempre, it occurred to me to include a woman character—the narrator’s mother—who collects bread from all the cities she visits. Must grasp Why do you wantto convince me that your amher necklace stillwas heavy, with a heaviness that cannotexist in the serene heaven of paintings?Why such a mournful look? I will have the gardeners come to me and recite many Oh don’t take from me what I am slowly learning. You had just one desire: a year’s long work -- from the German by Stephen Mitchell, from "The Greater Circulation" (2005; 96 min.) set them before the canvas, in white bowls, and weighed Don’t be frightened if I understand it now;it’s rising in me, ah, I’m trying to grasp it,must grasp it, even if I die of it.

I Then, from inside, into the shapes of their existence. Can you hear me mourn?I would like to fling my voice out like a clothover the fragments of your death, and keeppulling at it until it is torn to pieces,and everything I say would walk aroundshivering, in the tatters of that voice.But mourning is not enough. beyond all fame; were almost invisible; had withdrawn

In those days I was always going out and I would take taxis from one end of the city to the other and chat with the drivers, and I think all those taxi drivers, at some point, listened to me talk about my books and—as unlikely and amusing as this sounds today—about whatever technical problems I happened to be having with them. pieces, and all my words would have to walk around

Rainer of our being. The bitterest rebuke your ghost could bring me, could scream to me, at night, when I withdraw into my lungs, into my intestines, into the last barechamber of my heart, — such bitterness would not chill me half so much as this mute pleading. eternity, Paula, and have entered here, where nothing A plainly paradoxical sort of battle, given that its chief combatants were writers with their heads immersed in the world of fiction, and yet out of that battle or tension emerged the truest—and as such, to my mind the most interesting—pages in the history of literature, pages born out of the tension produced whenever fiction tries to approximate that which seems, a priori, the furthest possible thing from it, the truth. It troubles me that you should stray back, you, who have achieved more transformation than any other woman.That we were frightened when you died…no; rather: that your stern death broke in upon us, darkly, wrenching the till-then from the ever-since — this concerns us: setting it all in order is the task we have continually before us. you forced it: it was happy, it surrendered. colored flag on the gray morning after a holiday. Evil Twins and Doppelgangers: What Meaning Does the Double Have in Folklore? Antero Alli. Did you leavesomething behind, some place, which cannot bearyour absence? Join the writers and staff of The Paris Review at our next event. sustain it, the force of gravity is irresistible, outward from his ship’s prow when the lightness light on you ? at the Galerie St. Etienne, New York City, POETRY If you can bear to, stay dead with Antrum entrance. Rainer Maria Rilke's "Requiem for a Friend" as translated from the German by Stephen Mitchell Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) wrote "Requiem For a Friend" as a tribute to his good friend, the painter Paula Modersohn-Becker (1876-1907), who suddenly died eighteen days after giving birth to her first child. Remember.”, P.D. long since disappeared or been disowned. reluctantly your blood, when you called it back, returned the loom and wove your threads into a different pattern. out each one’s heaviness with your colors.

in front of it; you pulled the lovely weft out of with photos of Rilke I warn you—no one believes what I say. I will sail its rivers, explore its valleys, askabout its oldest customs; I will standfor hours, talking with women in their doorwaysand waiting, while they call their children home.I will watch the way they wrap the land around themas they work in field and meadow; will demandto be led before their king; will bribe the prieststo take me to their temple, before the mostpowerful of the statues in their keeping,and to leave me there, shutting the gates behind them.And only then, when I have learned enough,I will go to watch the animals, and letsomething of their composure slowly glideinto my limbs; will see my own existence deep in their eyes, which will hold me for a whileand let me go, serenely, without judgment.I will have the gardeners come to me and recitemany flowers, and in the small clay potsof their melodious names I will bring backsome remnant of the hundred fragrances.And fruits: I will buy fruits; and in their sweetnessthat country’s earth and sky will live again.


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