15 March 2005

a Rilke sonnet

Wait . . . that tasted good . . . But already gone.
. . . A little music now, a tapping, a humming—:
you girls who are silent, you radiant girls,
dance the taste of the fruit you are tasting.

Dance the orange. Who can forget it,
how, drowning in its wealth, it grew
against its sweetness. You have possessed it,
as it transforms the delicious into you.

Dance the orange. Fling its sunny clime
from you, so that ripeness may shine
in native breezes. All aglow,

peel perfume from perfume! Share the relation
that the supple pure reluctant rind
has with the juice that fills the joyous fruit.

[From Sonnets to Orpheus, Part I, 15, Feb 2-5, 1921; Gass translation]

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