Lisa Mednick Powell

Superbowl Poetry Punch

Sorry I missed last week. My secretary was out sick. Today’s poem is by Rainer Maria Rilke. The choice is inspired by having recently had the pleasure of hearing Ray Wylie Hubbard at the Lensic Theatre in Santa Fe. His song “The Messenger” contains a reference to Rilke. The song is on his album “Loco Gringo’s Lament.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eStAgL8pe08 Here is Rilke, from Sonnets to Orpheus, the first half of which, according to the book’s introduction, were written within a very short time span in 1922. Rilke wrote that the poems “...came up and entrusted themselves to me, the most enigmatic dictation I have ever held through and achieved; the whole first part was written down in a single breathless act of obedience, between the 2nd and 5th of February, without one word being doubtful or having to be changed.” There are 55 sonnets in the book. We are talking about extraordinary inspiration here. Poem 1 from the Second Part, translation by M.D. Herter Norton Breathing, you invisible poem! World-space constantly in pure interchange with our own being. Counterpoise, wherein I rhythmically happen. Solitary wave, whose gradual sea I am; most sparing you of all possible seas,-- winning of space. How many other of these places in space have already been within me. Many a wind is like a son to me. Do you know me, you air, still full of places once mine? You onetime smooth rind, rondure and leaf of my words. Note: I don’t know if this is the best translation. It’s just the book I have on my shelf. If anyone knows of a better translation please tell me. I don’t know German. And of course, here’s a song for the football people. You all knew I was gonna send this one, didn’t you? P.S. Don’t ‘google’ “Bobby Bare.” Just sayin’... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COfL-jtdFWQ