May 22, 2011

Is It Not Time

Der Spaziergang, by Marc Chagall

Is it not time
to free ourselves from the beloved
even as we, trembling, endure the loving?
As the arrow endures the bowstring's tension
so that, released, it travels farther.
For there is nowhere to remain.

From the First Duino Elegy


  1. ruth what a powerful visual and textual connection you've gathered together here. they emulate the intent of the poem dramatically in their own flinging of each other off into the nether reaches! i'm really interested to read what people think of rilke's words. steven

  2. oh, rilke, so clever. these lines are tight and ready for release like the bow itself. and yet it exists both in its state of tension and in its potential simultaneously. how does he accomplish this?

    i laugh, i want to write of chagall but i keep writing poetry to him instead. i don't know how to write his name without saying, dear marc...


  3. "Endure"
    This loving is rough stuff.
    At least there is some visual ecstasy in the Chagall.
    The man is grinning widely, but the woman is more pensive. Hmmm.
    It's not exactly joyful to say "For there is nowhere to remain.", is it? Loving is enduring and letting go? Because the moment arrows away even as we hold it?

  4. jane, i feel it is less troubling and more freeing in the line, "For there is nowhere to remain.". i think the trouble lies in how we bind ourselves to our time and importance in this life/our being, and to our egos. i think to allow ourselves the fact that there is nowhere to remain we might have our egos undone and project ourselves through life more seamlessly, more organically, with fewer barriers, and thereby experience a truer love. perhaps i have it wrong but this morning (before coffee - egads!) it seems the barrier is a bit of an invisible fence. i believe rilke wants for us to step to the other side of it and become more fluid. perhaps this is why i love rilke so - he recognizes that we live inside of these beautiful bodies and yet he calls us to live beyond them as well.


  5. 'For there is nowhere to remain'

    Erin, I was moved and inspired by what you wrote and I hope you don't mind, I have quoted part of it in my latest post on because the feeling you expressed 'I don't know how to write his name without saying dear Marc' was the trigger for what I wrote. Thank you.

  6. Released...
    A decision was made.
    And it is the right time Rilke.
    As you said "for there is nowhere to remain."



"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!