April: Tapoff, Mountain Spring
(click on photo to enlarge)
Spring Tapoff
"...then loneliness flows with the rivers..."

from The Book of Images,
by Rainer Maria Rilke.

This week, an image of the sparkling
water of a mountain spring together with
a new translation of a much-loved
German poem.

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


Einsamkeit ist wie ein Regen.
Sie steigt vom Meer den Abenden entgegen;
von Ebenen, die fern sind und entlegen,
geht sie zum Himmel, der sie immer hat.
Und erst vom Himmel fällt sie auf die Stadt.

Regnet hernieder in den Zwitterstunden,
wenn sich nach Morgen wenden alle Gassen
und wenn die Leiber, welche nichts gefunden,
enttäuscht und traurig von einander lassen;
und wenn die Menschen, die einander hassen,
in einem Bett zusammen schlafen müssen:

dann geht die Einsamkeit mit den Flüssen...

    Rainer Maria Rilke

Loneliness is like a rain.
It rises from the sea to meet the evening;
from the plains, which are far and remote,
it ascends to the sky, which it ever holds.
And from the sky it falls upon the city.

It rains down into the twilight hours
when the sidestreets are turning to the morning
and when bodies, that have found nothing,
disappointed and sad, let go of one another;
and when those, who hate each other,
must sleep together in the same bed:

then loneliness flows with the rivers...

    (tr. Cliff Crego)

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

| 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 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

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Photograph/Texts of Translations © 1999 - 2001 Cliff Crego  [Special thanks to Gerhard Brauer for pointing
out a typographical error in the original German text, and subsequent mistranslation on my part. I am
grateful for him pointing this out to me. (
III.19.2000) Comments to crego@picture-poems.com