You are lonely my friend…

Anita Rée: Orpheus and the animals (1930)

You are lonely, my friend, because you are….
We, with a word or a finger-sign,
gradually make the world our own ,
though perhaps its weakest, most precarious part.

How can fingers point out a smell?–
Yet of the dark forces that lurk at our side
you feel many…You know the dead;
and you shrink away from the magic spell.

Look, we two together must bear
piecework and parts, as if they were
the whole. But be careful. Above all, don’t plant

me inside your heart. I’d outgrow you. But I
will guide my master’s hand and will say:
Here. This is Esau beneath his pelt

R.M. Rilke ” Sonnets to Orpheus” I/16

German Original

Das XVI. Sonett

Du, mein Freund, bist einsam, weil….
Wir machen mit Worten und Fingerzeigen
uns allmählich die Welt zu eigen,
vielleicht ihren schwächsten, gefährlichsten Teil.
Wer zeigt mit Fingern auf einen Geruch? –
Doch von den Kräften, die uns bedrohten,
fühlst du viele… Du kennst die Toten,
und du erschrickst vor dem Zauberspruch.

Sieh, nun heißt es zusammen ertragen
Stückwerk und Teile, als sei es das Ganze.
Dir helfen, wird schwer sein. Vor allem: pflanze

mich nicht in dein Herz. Ich wüchse zu schnell.
Doch meines Herrn Hand will ich führen und sagen:
Hier. Das ist Esau in seinem Fell.

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.
This entry was posted in Listening to Orpheus, Orpheus and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to You are lonely my friend…

  1. Fatima says:

    I love this sonnet.
    With a word or a pointing finger…..
    but what does this image represent?
    “This is Esau beneath his pelt”
    Is it an historical allusion or to do with ….the true being beneath the known? Or something of both?
    Just curious …don’t think knowing that would impact on how much I like it….maybe flesh out understanding ?

  2. Fatima says:

    Yes, perhaps….

    When I read this, and I love it that it is just a piece of a larger exposition that I haven’t read but have some familiarity with through your sharing here, otherwise I would probably be confused by knowledge and ideas when I read it,

    I saw a brief illumination of our individual condition and the picture that Eckhart gives us of the human being which the heart (intuition?) confirms. I couldn’t say this last night….but now I can? Last night it was an impression today its an exposition. haha

    From birth into this world – separation, and we, inevitably,

    “gradually make the world our own ,
    though perhaps its weakest, most precarious part”.

    To recognizing the illusion.and the..”we two….”

    “Look, we two together must bear
    piecework and parts, as if they were
    the whole. But be careful. Above all, don’t plant
    me (the material world?) inside your heart. ”

    To reality/truth:

    “Here. This is Esau beneath his pelt.”

    Knowing something about the Esau doesn’t change anything.

    Esau, a “son of the desert” became a hunter [1] who had “rough”[2] qualities that distinguished him from his brother. Jacob was a shy or simple man, depending on the translation of the Hebrew word “Tam” (which also means “relatively perfect man”).[7] Throughout Genesis, Esau is frequently shown as being supplanted by his younger Jacob (Israel).[

    So succinct, so beautiful….speaking to the “two”of us. What is poetry anyway but a most refined expression of “piecework and parts”?


    p.s. I miss that you don’t have much to say anymore. On the otherhand…. I’m happy for you!

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