February 23, 2011

What Links Us

The Ties That Bind, by Bonnie of Original Art Studio

Bless the spirit that makes connections,
for truly we live in what we imagine.
Clocks move alongside our real life
with steps that are ever the same.

Though we do not know our exact location,
we are held in place by what links us.
Across trackless distances
antennas sense each other.

Pure attention, the essence of the powers!
Distracted by each day's doing,
how can we hear the signals?

Even as the farmer labors
there where the seed turns into summer,
it is not his work. It is Earth who gives.

Sonnets to Orpheus I, 12


  1. I do love this translation - it reads so beautifully, clearly and directly (I've just compared it with the Stephen Mitchell translation which seems so clunky in comparison). I wonder how many people have been put off Rilke and scores of other writers through clumsy translations that don't sing?

    This poem was very exciting. Only connect.

  2. bonnie - a lovely work of art and the words by rilke dance right alongside so provocatively! steven

  3. Robert, I find the poem exciting too. But I do find it a little confusing in places; I can imagine (!) the feat for translators to convey what the original was. If I just keep the meditation before me: only connect, that helps.

    And yes, Steven, it is uncanny to gaze on Bonnie's image and realize that there too I miss things if I use my left brain. It's easy to focus on the human images and the trees, and completely miss the ties connecting them. I love how the the human shapes wander and mirror Rilke's line . . . we do not know our exact location.

  4. Did I say "trees"? Well, I suppose you could make the black silhouettes into trees if you really try. Anyway, see what I mean? I must be distracted and missing the signals!

  5. I love this one. And i adore Bonnie's picture.


"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!