Desire Transformation


“Apollo and Daphne”   painting by Antonio del Pollaiolo


Here is a sonnet by Rainer Maria Rilke:


Desire transformation. O be aroused by the flame

wherein the one thing that eludes you in change shines forth;

every designing mind which has mastered the earthly

loves in the figure’s swing nothing more than the turning point.


What encloses itself in stasis, already is Rigidity;

does it believe itself protected under the plain of gray?

Wait, from afar the hardest warns that which is hard.

Woe—: the absent hammer is ready to strike!


Whoever pours forth as a spring, is recognized by Recognition;

and she leads him enraptured through all of cheerful creation

that often with opening closes and with ending begins.


Every happy space is child or grandchild of separation,

which they undergo amazed. And the transfigured Daphne, *

now that she’s laurel, wishes you change yourself into wind.


Rilke   Sonnets to Orpheus  XII [SECOND PART]

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