March 26, 2011

Annunciation (2)

 Minerva, by Auguste Rodin

(The angel speaks)

I stretched my wings wide
and became incredibly vast.
Now your narrow dwelling
overflows with my robes.
Yet you are alone as never before,
and barely look at me.
I could be just a breeze in the grove.
You, though, are the tree.

Never was there such longing,
so great and so uncertain.
Maybe something is soon to occur
that has come to you in dreams.
I greet you, for my soul sees now
that you have ripened and are ready.
You are a high and awesome gate
and soon you will open.
You are the ear my song is seeking,
the forest in which my word is lost.

So I came and made real
what you dared so long to dream.
God looked right at me, it was blinding . . .

You, though, are the tree.

Book of Images


  1. Fascinating companion to the first version, the angel now beholding only the poet, who has somehow become Woman, Bride of the Christ, whose voice now becomes the overbrimming emotion the first version had so identified with Mother and Beloved. In Christian theology, the Church is the Bride of Christ, the body of His spirit: in Rilke's translation. the poet becomes the voice of god, the angel's medium., ouija, choirmaster, prophet, psalmist. The angel turns to the poet here the way the first version the poet turns to the woman; and it is the poet who is the tree; as if to underscore that, the line is repeated at the end. This poem lays over the former like a transparency, completing some anatomy of Voice; this is the evolution of the first; it also shows how identical the two relations are, coming from the same source. Yet still the incredible distance, where that which is most intimate is made infinitely far by the longing of the Word Wild. - Brendan

  2. "Never was there such longing,
    so great and so uncertain."

    This whole poem, all of his poems, are that.

  3. so much so . . .
    "you are the ear my song is seeking,
    the forest in which my word is lost."

  4. This is so overwhelming to me in its grandeur that I almost can't abide it! I know the feeling of being the poet, with something ready to open wide. Knowing something is coming, that wants to be written. But this, this. His lines build to the point of multiplying that feeling times one thousand, to ecstasy beyond breaking.

    " . . . a high and awesome gate . . . " ! Yes, blinding. But the tree is the substantiation. The real. The grounded.


  5. Marvelous image accompanying the poem.

  6. I am, indeed, the tree.
    And just so, I shed my bark, that which encased my soul and defined my wholeness, and I grow, reaching down and stretching in and up.


"Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night."

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Go ahead, bloom recklessly!