And it was almost a girl…

Listening to Orpheus (6)

And it was almost a girl and came to be
out of this single joy of song and lyre
and through her green veils shone forth radiantly
and made herself a bed in my ear.

And slept there. And her sleep was everything:
the awesome trees, the distance I had felt
so deeply that I could touch them, meadows in spring:
all wonders that had ever seized my heart.

She slept the world. Singing god, how was that first
sleep so perfect that she had no desire
ever to wake? See: she arose and slept.

Where is her death now? Ah will you discover
this theme before your song consumes itself?-
Where is she vanishing?…a girl almost…

R.M.Rilke “Sonnets to Orpheus” I/2

This is the effect of Orpheus singing. This is what the vibration of song and lyre is bringing forth. A sensation, a resonance, a resemblance – a girl almost….whose sleep was everything.

There is an astounding similarity between the anatomic structure of vocal cords and a lyre – words of poetry and the sound of music coming from the same grounds. A stir, a rustle of breath, a stroke with a finger, while the wooden instrument is held closely to the heart. King David played the lyre, as did the early minstrels, walking among the people telling them the stories of the Gods and waking in them the memory that the self, which is no other than the universe, is unreal like a dream.

And it reminds of the traditional Advaita saying: The world is an illusion. Brahman alone is real. Brahman is the world.

Original Version

Das II. Sonett

Und fast ein Mädchen wars und ging hervor
aus diesem einigen Glück von Sang und Leier
und glänzte klar durch ihre Frühlingsschleier
und machte sich ein Bett in meinem Ohr.

Und schlief in mir. Und alles war ihr Schlaf.
Die Bäume, die ich je bewundert, diese
fühlbare Ferne, die gefühlte Wiese
und jedes Staunen, das mich selbst betraf.

Sie schlief die Welt. Singender Gott, wie hast
du sie vollendet, dass sie nicht begehrte,
erst wach zu sein? Sieh, sie erstand und schlief.

Wo ist ihr Tod? O, wirst du dies Motiv
erfinden noch, eh sich dein Lied verzehrte? –
Wo sinkt sie hin aus mir? … Ein Mädchen fast …

Rainer Maria Rilke, zwischen dem 2. und 5.2.1922, Chateau de Muzot

About Michaela

I am a wanderer and a wonderer, like you are. I love our journey and to walk in the company of friends – to learn, experience, share, laugh, cry and above all I simply love this marvelous, magical, mysterious life. I have no plan (cannot believe I am saying this) and my only intention is to be truthful to myself and others.
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1 Response to And it was almost a girl…

  1. Pingback: Will You Still Be Here (Wirst du noch da sein) « avicenna2020

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