Thursday, September 3, 2009

long childhood afternoon

-photo by Will Gortoa



Childhood

-by Rainer Maria Rilke

It would be good to give much thought, before
you try to find words for something so lost,
for those long childhood afternoons you knew
that vanished so completely --and why?

We're still reminded--: sometimes by a rain,
but we can no longer say what it means;
life was never again so filled with meeting,
with reunion, and with passing on

as back then, when nothing happened to us
except what happens to things and creatures:
we lived their world as something human,
and became filled to the brim with figures.

And became as lonely as a sheperd ,
and as overburdened by vast distances,
and summoned and stirred as from far away,
and slowly, like a long new thread,
introduced into that picture-sequence
where now having to go on bewilders us.





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14 comments:

secret, fragile skies said...

This is absolutely heartbreaking and beautiful. I had never read it. And I love the photo with it...summer's end.

Melinda said...

Okay, Lydia :-) I just wrote a comment on Jay (Yoga for Cynics) blog saying that most poetry leaves me "meh" and then I come across a completely lovely and haunting poem (and you have a knack for finding them) that I just love!

Thank you.

Melinda

Kim said...

I love that picture so much. Reminds me of my childhood.

Looking to the Stars said...

Good poem, thanks for sharing :)

Darlene said...

I need to ponder this poem. I think my childhood is so very far away that I no longer remember what it was like, but that isn't true. I can conjure up a day of doing nothing but giggle and splash in puddles as if it were just yesterday. Memory is a very odd thing.

Rhiannon said...

Oh this is so very true isn't it Lydia? I had a tear or two come to my eyes as I read this..the photo brought back a lot of memories also.

I hope all of us will let our "Inner Childe" come out and play more often..in our "Big" adult lives, we just keep her or him..locked inside of us...and somehow we must find the key to let them come out from time to time, to giggle,to laugh,to be silly and "dance" away! To jump up and down just for the "joy of life" and living!..to look all around us and notice all the "little things" that are so very precious in this life..mother earth, father sky and the whole universe..

Hope your doing well and the weather is cooling off for you up there. It's slowly improving here, but it sure has been a long hot summer..:o(

I've got a nice song and video on my new post I think you might like.

Love Rhi

Lydia said...

@secret, fragile skies- Summer's end is sure what it hearkens for me as well. And that is always a sadness, even though I'm excited for autumn.

@Melinda- "meh" ...now there's a new expression! I'm glad you liked this poem, although I doubt anything by Rilke would disappoint.

@Kim- Yes, isn't it great. I hope you have some time to click on the link to see the Will Gortoa's photostream. His work is breathtaking.

@Looking to the Stars- I like it too. Thanks for being here!

@Darlene- Loved your comment, and I'm pondering it along with the poem!

@Rhi- I'm in the mood for one of the videos I find at your blog, so will be over to see it!
Thank you for your tender reminder that we need to nurture our inner child. You and Darlene both mentioned "giggle" in your comments and it made me realize that I miss laughing.

Owen said...

Lydia, this is gorgeous, you can put me in with the bewildered, having to go on though, as with the One Way sign in Death Valley. I hadn't read any Rilke for a long time, not since school days when I was reading alot of German authors like Hesse, Remarque, Gunter Grass and so forth... but this is a gem.

And thank you for all your visits and comments, I really appreciate your company on this long strange blogging trip, and wish I had more time to get out and around everyone's blogs more often...

Nancy said...

Love the picture. Love the poem. Feeling lonely for my little girls, that are so grown up now.

Nancy said...

Wow my comment just showed up on my e-mail (?) as non-deliverable ?! See if this goes through to you..

Lydia said...

@Owen- Please know that it's a treat to hear from you whenever you drop by, no matter how long since visits! I feel the same way and we should really not panic about not being everywhere for everyone.
Your spectacular ONE WAY photo in Death Valley would probably stir Rilke to a new poem...but let's not disturb his rest (have you read what he had written on his gravestone?)

@Nancy- I am getting around to the blog late, i.e., early in the a.m. but your messages came through just fine. The internet might be a wild place over the Labor Day weekend if lots of people are online...
Sorry you are missing them, but you should feel so good about having raised them well. :)

earthtoholly said...

A beautiful poem, Lydia, although so sad. I wonder how much deprogramming is needed to get us back to that time of our lives. Probably more than we have days for, I'm afraid...oh well.

Wow, how much of a bummer am I??? :o|

I love that pic!

Jennifer said...

I remember rushing through the ditch by the side of my grandparents' house in the rain. The water had formed puddles in the grass and I was barefoot and moved my feet through the water, kicked it up into the air. I remember the afternoon and the feeling, not to be replicated. Though sometimes it helps to have a small one around. When we were looking at the pattern for his Halloween costume, he asked, with a hopeful voice, whether he would be able to fly with those Batman wings. And he spends entire mornings flying across rooms by just pointing his hands above his head. I remember that feeling, too.

Just some thoughts that came up after reading that incredible poem. Thank you for posting. (And now back to my blogging cave.)

Lydia said...

@Jennifer- Vivid fantastic memories that make me very happy you came out of your blogging cave for just a bit.
I remember a summer day in Reno when it was so hot, but the afternoon thunderheads traveling by brought a splashy warm rain. The smells of sagebrush, dirt, and hot pavement are still with me.
Your son's arms stretched to assist his flight did bring back a far-away memory of something along that line!

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