July 8, 2011

The Island (II)

Study of a landscape at Auvers

As if lying in some crater on the moon,
each farm is encircled by its earthen banks.
And like orphans the gardens inside
are dressed and combed the same

by the storm that raises them so roughly,
scaring them all the time with threats of death.
That's when you stay indoors, gazing into
the crooked mirror at the assorted things

reflected there. Toward evening one of you
steps outside the door and draws from the harmonica
a sound as soft as weeping

such as you heard once in a distant port.
Out there, silhouetted against the sky,
one of the sheep stands motionless on the far dike.

New Poems


  1. Now that is so beautiful. Isn't it wonderful how Rilke embraces with his gaze orphans, beggars, the mentally ill, the crooked, those on the margins? To draw from that harmonica 'a sound as soft as weeping' - very touching and poignant. Love the imagistic nature of this poem.

  2. The poem's landscape-- where life must stir itself, call itself to perceive and to respond. This reminds me a bit of Bly's early work in silence in the snowy fields...xxxj

  3. Beautiful imagery. I love the Zen quality of the solitary sheep, silhouetted and motionless on the distant dike.

  4. The Island I & II both uncommonly brilliant



"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!