The poet Rainer Maria Rilke with us on High Point Mountain Road in the Ashokan Catskills, New York

A poem of Rainer Maria Rilke written at the top of a watercolor portrait of 1921 (now in the Salzburg Museum)  by his lover, Baladine Klosssowska.  The poet is asleep on a sofa.  The poem was translated by Paul Eprile with Alfred Corn and published in the New York Review of Books in a May  2016 issue.

This deer stepped into the garden of a friend in West Shokan, New York at a house in which we were never unhappy in 25 years and where we always slept the deepest sleep. The house was sold in 2015.  To bring this contentment to others.

Inward Gaze

Baladine Klossowska: La Contemplation Intérieure (Rilke dormant sur un petit sofa à Muzot), 1921; watercolor portrait of Rainer Maria Rilke by his lover Klossowska, at the top of which he wrote a poem that is translated into English for the first time below.

Sorrow is a stubborn piece of land,

through which, darkling, the blessed mind

sends down roots so as to bloom.

Whereas, in you, my resting heart,

all things stay nameless.

It’s from the outside things are named:

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 named for doubt, named for the moment;

but see how quick

we set bliss amongst the names.

And then, the speckled hind steps out,

and, over her, the strongest star,

fulfilled within the frame.

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