Rilke in English

One of my favorite poets is Rilke. His poetry speaks to me, since I heard the first time “Herbsttag” when I was a child. And while I discovered many other poets for myself, yet I come always back to him to find something new.

Supporting my dear friend AC Benus to collect poems about same sex love, I wanted to share these poems called Sappho an Eranna and Eranna an Sappho.
And since I am not satisfied with the existing translation into English, I tried my own versions.

Sappho to Erinna

I want to make you restless,
I want to make you vibrate, Entwined Spear.
Like sweet death, I want to penetrate you
and dissolve you like the grave: back in the circle of life.

Erinna to Sappho

Oh, lady you threw me wild and wide :
I lay with my kind, as a spear between discuses
Your singing carried me further.
I don’t know where I am.
No one can bring me back.

My sisters remember me and they are still weaving,
and the house is full of their familiar footsteps.
Far and cast away am I
and I tremble like a request;
the beautiful goddes, in nimbus of her myths, rules my life.

Translation ©GedichtArt

Sappho to Eranna
Unruh will ich über dich bringen,
schwingen will ich dich, umrankter Stab.
Wie das Sterben will ich dich durchdringen
und dich weitergeben wie das Grab
an das Alles: allen diesen Dingen.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Eranna an Sappho

O du wilde weite Werferin:
Wie ein Speer bei andern Dingen
lag ich bei den Meinen. Dein Erklingen
warf mich weit. Ich weiß nicht wo ich bin.
Mich kann keiner wiederbringen.

Meine Schwestern denken mich und weben,
und das Haus ist voll vertrauter Schritte.
Ich allein bin fern und fortgegeben
und ich zittere wie eine Bitte;
denn die schöne Göttin in der Mitte
ihrer Mythen glüht und lebt mein Leben

Rainer Maria Rilke




Vive la poetry

I had a very nice poetry experience today. My students had to learn a really long poem, and of course, more than half of the class hadn’t done it. This morning, I had an extra studying lesson for a student, my shadow child, who does not talk loudly and needs extra support. We looked at the poem again, talked about the rhyme structure and why words rhyme. I trained with her how to read it, and read it to her while she was concentrating on the images in her mind, etc. In the end, she was so fascinated by the poem that she asked: “Do other poems exist?” I had to smile, told her yes, and showed her a very sweet Morgenstern poem. We went through the whole process again. This poem is about three sparrows in the winter, cuddling together to keep each other warm. In the end I said “Now let’s change some words,” and I filled in girls instead of sparrows, with the names of her two best friends. She was so surprised that the poem now belonged to her. She read it again and again, and when the other kids came, she wanted to read the new poem version out loud to the class. And my super sweet students, they applauded her and were so sweet to her. Sometimes my job makes me so happy.

Poetry is amazing.

Thank you AC for editing and for bringing me to post this. Muha

cookie peace

Today my daughter had a friend here for a play date.

This little Akrostichon arose suddenly 🙂 🙂 :-):

Cute little girls can’t fool me.
Oh, how lovely they dance and sing.
Oh, how sweet they play and run,
Know how to giggle, abruptly cry,
Infernally bang doors and how to
Eat cookies peacefully together.
Smart mum.


P.S. The cookies were so yummie. Thank you AC Benus for sending me the great recipe. 🙂

Nearness of the beloved man

Goethes poem “Nähe des Geliebten” from 1795 is a wonderful love poem, which still speaks to the reader trough time and space.  A while ago I discussed with a friend the universality of a good love poem. The message is neutral to gender, it does not matter if it is about straight or gay love. I think, this wonderful poem shows it perfectly. Over centuries, it is said, that the Lyrisches ich (=lyrical I, character who speaks) must have been of a woman. But in fact, this is written by a man. So it obviously describes feelings, that a man had, or he couldn’t give it words, right?
When grown old Goethe said: Und wenn der Mensch in seiner Qual verstummt, gab mir ein Gott, zu sagen, wie ich leide.
And when all people fall silent in their pain, a god gave me the gift to tell, how I suffer.

So make up your own opinion.

Nearness to the beloved man

I see you, when sun rays 
glisten on the ocean.
I see you, when moon beams
Paint pictures in the spring.

I see you, when in the far distance,
dust is rising;
In the silent night, when on the narrow path,
A Wanderer trembles.

I hear you, when there’s a wave rising
with dull noise.
I wander the quiet groves , listening
while everything is silent.

I am with you, and even when you are so far away,
You’re close to me!
The sun sinks, soon the stars will shine,
O, if only you could be here

I made a translation for my dear friend AC Benus and he encouraged me to post it. Thank you AC for your support, I probably would never had the idea to post it. 🙂


Nähe des Geliebten

Ich denke dein, wenn mir der Sonne Schimmer
Vom Meere strahlt;
Ich denke dein, wenn sich des Mondes Flimmer
In Quellen malt.

Ich sehe dich, wenn auf dem fernen Wege
Der Staub sich hebt;
In tiefer Nacht, wenn auf dem schmalen Stege
Der Wandrer bebt.

Ich höre dich, wenn dort mit dumpfem Rauschen
Die Welle steigt.
Im stillen Haine geh’ ich oft zu lauschen,
Wenn alles schweigt.

Ich bin bei dir; du seist auch noch so ferne,
Du bist mir nah!
Die Sonne sinkt, bald leuchten mir die Sterne.
O, wärst du da!

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe