Thursday, December 5th, 2013...5:14 pm

b.z. niditch | rilke’s birth

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Rainer Maria Rilke | René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke

(4 December 1875 – 29 December 1926)

RILKE’S BIRTH

By the cedar woodland
the foresters with wide eyes
mingle with the country secrets
of a thousand years,
more of them here
than blazing infant stars
in the open chimerical sky
by first light,
a boy hides his verses
glistened by the sunshine
near the Rhine,
Rilke taking his reverie
of imperishable words
no longer on blank sheets
with his first halo of language
hidden in his pocket of notes
covering vistas of childhood
concealing his once fractured wrist
swollen from all night writing
Bohemian folk poems,
with the ringed school notebook
held in his unseen hand
of his winter gear and glove
your neighbor has created
from scratch from a magazine,
astonished by another early bird
eating out of his shadowy arm,
by a river fountain,
half-unconscious from excitement
of his first clandestine venture
outside his bedstead house
a graphic memory
held here in the silent snow
of a moisture white path
he stands frozen
in his pulsating wet tears
no one will understand,
a domino falls out
of his pea jacket,
spring wants to entice him
and weigh him down
to rest along the ditch waters
of the now unfortified river bank,
there is no flood tide,
or splashing children
here along willow trees
but the burdock countryside
makes even a slim body hungry
long for honey cake and strudel
by a warming wood stove.

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