Thursday, 6 December 2007

Rose, oh reiner Widerspruch

Rose, oh reiner Widerspruch, Lust,
Niemandes Schlaf zu sein unter soviel

Rose, oh pure contradiction, joy
of being No-one's sleep, under so
many lids.

This enigmatic poem marks Rilke's gravestone. As the legend goes, it was the thorn of a rose which caused his death, poisoning his blood with supreme beauty (or so the poet believed). The most aethereal of all the deaths that I know of.

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