May: Sky Tracks—a 'Found-poem' Photo
(click on photo to enlarge)
Sky Tracks: Tracks in Limestone Mudflat "All at once from the green of the park,
one can't quite say, something is taken away;
one feels it coming closer to the windows
and being silent. Out of a grove..."

from Before Summer Rain,
a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke 

This week, an image of a 'found-poem'—
i.e., an image which is unintentionally both
photograph and its own kind of poem—
Skytracks— of animal tracks left
behind at limestone mudflat. Also: a
new translation from the German.

The guest poem for this week is a new English translation from the work of the German
language poet,
Rainer Maria Rilke (from the Rilke website, a concise hyperlinked biography).

Vor dem Sommerregen

Auf einmal ist aus allem Grün im Park
man weiß nicht was, ein Etwas fortgenommen;
man fühlt ihn näher an die Fenster kommen
und schweigen sein. Inständig nur und stark

ertönt aus dem Gehölz der Regenpfeifer,
man denkt an einen Hieronymus:
so sehr steigt irgend Einsamkeit und Eifer
aus dieser einen Stimme, die der Guß

erhören wird. Des Saales Wände sind
mit ihren Bildern von uns fortgetreten
als dürften sie nicht hören was wir sagen.

Es spiegeln die verblichenen Tapeten
das ungewisse Licht von Nachmittagen,
in denen man sich fürchtete als Kind.

   Rainer Maria Rilke
(Paris, early July 1906)
Before Summer Rain

All at once from the green of the park,
one can't quite say, something is taken away;
one feels it coming closer to the windows
and being silent. Out of a grove,

persistent and strong, sounds a plover,
one thinks of a Saint Jerome:
so intensely rises a solitude and fervor
out of this one voice that the downpour

shall listen. The walls of the great hall
with their paintings retreat from us
as if not allowed to hear what we say.

Reflected in the faded tapestries
is the uncertain light of afternoons
in which one as a child was so afraid.

   (tr. Cliff Crego)

| listen to Before Summer Rain in German original; listen to English trnaslation # |

| view / print Picture/Poem Poster: Before Summer Rain (86 K) | | or download as PDF |

* Saint Jerome (Eusebius Hieronymus: c.347-420) was a central figure in the Church of Rome
of his day. Known for asceticism and great scholarship, his lasting contribution was the
translation of the Bible into Latin. He also introduced philological and geographical material in
his work, and gave emphasis to archaelogical inquiry, all of which had a strong influence
on the emerging cultural tradition of the Middle Ages. (source of data: Grolier Encyclopedia (1996))
| see the magnificent
Michelangelo Caravaggio (1572-1610)
masterpiece, Saint Jerome Writing |

| see also the Rilke Posters |

| listen to other recordings in English and German of twelve poems from
The Book of Images
at The Rilke Download Page
(# Includes instructions) |
See other recent additions of new English translations of
Rilke's poetry, together with
featured photographs at:

(6) May: Wonders in the Form of a Flower

(5) Out of an April: Mountains of the Heart

| see also a selection of recent Picture/Poem "Rilke in translation" features at the Rilke Archive.

See also another website
by Cliff Crego:
The Poetry of
Rainer Maria Rilke
a presentation of 80 of the
best poems of Rilke in
both German and
new English translations
biography, links, posters


"Straight roads,
Slow rivers,
Deep clay."
A collection of contemporary Dutch poetry
in English translation, with commentary
and photographs
by Cliff Crego

| back to Picture/Poems: Central Display |
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Photograph/Texts of Translations © 1999 - 2001 Cliff Crego

(created :
V.28..2000) Comments to