Inexpressible hope, by R.M.Rilke

pic from here

Duino Elegies

from The Second Elegy

 

(…)
Lovers, if they knew how, might utter
strange things in night air. Since it seems
everything hides us. Look, trees exist; houses,
we live in, still stand. Only we
pass everything by, like an exchange of air.
And all is at one, in keeping us secret, half out of
shame perhaps, half out of inexpressible hope.
(…)

Rainer Maria Rilke.

Original German text:

Duineser Elegien, Aus Die zweite Elegie


Liebende könnten, verstünden sie’s, in der Nachtluft
wunderlich reden. Denn es scheint, daß uns alles
verheimlicht. Siehe, die Bäume sind; die Häuser,
die wir bewohnen, bestehn noch. Wir nur
ziehen allem vorbei wie ein luftiger Austausch.
Und alles ist einig, uns zu verschweigen, halb als
Schande vielleicht und halb als unsägliche Hoffnung.

Rilke’s Elegies is one of my favourite books.

Half out of inexpressible hope … so much of my life, so much of my deepest wishes is like so…

Nox Nocti Indicat Scientiam, by W.Habington

Pic from here

 

Nox Nocti Indicat Scientiam

 

1 When I survey the bright
2 Celestial sphere,
3 So rich with jewels hung, that night
4 Doth like an Ethiop bride appear,

5 My soul her wings doth spread
6 And heavenward flies,
7 Th’ Almighty’s mysteries to read
8 In the large volumes of the skies.

9 For the bright firmament
10 Shoots forth no flame
11 So silent, but is eloquent
12 In speaking the Creator’s name.

13 No unregarded star
14 Contracts its light
15 Into so small a character,
16 Remov’d far from our human sight,

17 But if we steadfast look,
18 We shall discern
19 In it, as in some holy book,
20 How man may heavenly knowledge learn.

21 It tells the conqueror
22 That far-stretch’d power
23 Which his proud dangers traffic for,
24 Is but the triumph of an hour.

25 That from the farthest north,
26 Some nation may
27 Yet undiscovered, issue forth
28 And o’er his new-got conquest sway.

29 Some nation yet shut in
30 With hills of ice
31 May be let out to scourge his sin
32 Till they shall equal him in vice.

33 And then they likewise shall
34 Their ruin have;
35 For as yourselves, your empires fall,
36 And every kingdom hath a grave.

37 Thus those celestial fires,
38 Though seeming mute,
39 The fallacy of our desires
40 And all the pride of life confute.

41 For they have watch’d since first
42 The world had birth;
43 And found sin in itself accurst,
44 And nothing permanent on earth.

 

by William Habington

 

Notes

1] The title is from Psalms xix.2: “night unto night sheweth knowledge.”

4] Cf. Romeo and Juliet I.v.48-49.

25-32] Cf. Jeremiah i.15.

 

I studied at high school when a tv program about science showed this poem.

When I read these beautiful words I feel again that emotion I felt first time I read them.

I completely agree with Mr. Habigton.

It’s so moving, indeed!

George Gray, by E.L.Masters

pic from here

 

 

Spoon River Anthology, 64.

George Gray

 

I have studied many times
The marble which was chiseled for me —
A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor.

In truth it pictures not my destination
But my life.

For love was offered me and I shrank from its disillusionment;
Sorrow knocked at my door, but I was afraid;
Ambition called to me, but I dreaded the chances.
Yet all the while I hungered for meaning in my life.

And now I know that we must lift the sail
And catch the winds of destiny
Wherever they drive the boat.

To put meaning in one’s life may end in madness,
But life without meaning is the torture
Of restlessness and vague desire —
It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid.

 

Edgar Lee Masters

 

These words torture me from the first time I read them, during a long bus trip to my holidays.

I attended high school

East Coker, by T.S.Eliot

Pic from here

Four Quartets
East Coker, 3, 13-28

I said to my soul, be still, and let the dark come upon you
Which shall be the darkness of God. As, in a theatre,
The lights are extinguished, for the scene to be changed
With a hollow rumble of wings, with a movement of darkness on darkness,
And we know that the hills and the trees, the distant panorama
And the bold imposing facade are all being rolled away —
Or as, when an underground train, in the tube, stops too long between stations
And the conversation rises and slowly fades into silence
And you see behind every face the mental emptiness deepen
Leaving only the growing terror of nothing to think about;
Or when, under ether, the mind is conscious but conscious of nothing —
I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.

 

T.S. Eliot

 

I studied at university. I was young. I was really not good.
I found Eliot, I found this one.

First time I red it I was in a undergroud train.

So beautiful … to make me cry.

Another time, by W.H.Auden

Pic from here

Another Time

For us like any other fugitive,
Like the numberless flowers that cannot number
And all the beasts that need not remember,
It is today in which we live.

So many try to say Not Now,
So many have forgotten how
To say I Am, and would be
Lost, if they could, in history.

Bowing, for instance, with such old-world grace
To a proper flag in a proper place,
Muttering like ancients as they stump upstairs
Of Mine and His or Ours and Theirs.

Just as if time were what they used to will
When it was gifted with possession still,
Just as if they were wrong
In no more wishing to belong.

No wonder then so many die of grief,
So many are so lonely as they die;
No one has yet believed or liked a lie,
Another time has other lives to live.

W.H. Auden

 

From years I try to translate it into Italian… I am not able …

 

Sunset floods

I’m trapped in my home, so I cannot share here a better photo…I’m sorry

 

Anyway, sunset still floods with peace
us and yellow light comes. A breeze breathes.
A joyful blackbird plays near me,
herald of infinite souvenirs

Yes, we live and we’ll live in this world
that forgives and maintains us.
I thank You, my kind Lord, Father Lord,
fill my nothing with deep and strong wish

 

April, 25th 2020

 

Italian version

 

 

 

Like a shadow 2

Maybe only a variation of this one

 

Sometimes I’m only my shadow, slipping
into dark and strange nights as a ghost
of myself, as a mask hiding me,
hiding my whole myself and my soul
above all in this silenced world

Yet I need higher go, towards sun
I wish slip into air till to be
in the blue so far sky and so fly
higher, faster and free from myself

 

April, 21st 2020

Italian version

Like a shadow

 

Like a shadow I slip into nights
where I find dreams and nightmares and cats
lovely and wild, independent and black,
cute sweet girls making love and romance

I’m my shadow when slip into nights
without sense except feeling me good
without sobs, troubles and true life’s thoughts
yet I’m human, so my soul finds me

I’m not shadow, I wish sun and spring
no dream is better than my real life
when my Love hugs me thus God is here
and I pray “My Lord, please, save me now!

 

April, 19th 2020

See also this one, maybe the same, maybe not

Cold raindrops

This beautiful photo and some words by Catherine made me write this stuff

 

As cold raindrops
from sky to a puddle
we all run down so fast
while our sun is pale ghost
as in winter, and cries.
It’s a shadow of what it should be,
only a sign of what it could… must be

Like cold raindrop
my soul stands thin, frail,
in this world puzzled, mad,
only a shadow of what it should be
only a memo of what I could be

I’m cold raindrop
that pours weak and dull
over strong lava rock
old and black.
That’s how world treats now me,
without take care of none.
I can’t scratch its surface.

Each cold raindrop
falls from sky to ground
without sense.
I’m thus too when I trust
in my hands or my mind,
while heart dries up soon, fast.
Friday, now, my Christ dies.

There’s no raindrop
that falls without value.
Each thing goes towards place
God gave it before Time.
Three days after this pain,
after Petrus went out
and wept bitterly…
Three days after that rooster,
that sword,
sun will bright again, more
Easter comes, anyway.
Easter comes, despite me.

April, 10th 2020

The Hedge

Judy in a dreaming wood spring, sl, today

 

Beyond hedge is a garden and further
things I already know and don’t know.
World is changing out there, far away
and we’re caged, a long way from Time

That hedge forces my view here but I
know a lot about shadows of woods,
about hidden things, like two-leaf squill
and wind flowers, pure white just now there

Beyond hedge which is edge to my place
there’s a garden and farther some woods
that I don’t see yet I see and know
how they are when awake from their sleep

A hedge is border to all my world
but there is further gardens and woods
and beyond, towards east and its dawn
where sun rises there is Easter light

 

April, 4th 2020

Italian version