One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back
into the darkness of the ark -- Kafka

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Rilke & Wrestling Jacob

Walked the wider circle today: Peets (where I breakfasted and read Crusoe)--along Second and Bay Shore--Marine Stadium and Park (everyone already had chairs and blankets down to reserve their spots for tonight's Municipal Band)--Colorado Lagoon and home again.

Two names that seemed to coalesce into a single thought: Rilke and the biblical Jacob.

As I recall Rilke forwent psychoanalysis largely because he didn't want his daemons--aka his poetic inspirations, both good and bad--exorcized.

Here's to the Poet of Possibility (from The Book of Hours):
Ich lebe mein Leben in wachsenden Ringen,
die sich uber die Dinge ziehn.
Ich werde den letzten vielleicht nicht vollbringen,
aber versuchen will ich ihn.
Ich kreise um Gott, um den uralten Turm,
und ich kreise jahrtausendelang;
und ich weiss noch nicht: bin ich ein Falke, ein Sturm
oder ein grosser Gesang.


I live my life in widening circles
that reach out across the world.
I may not complete this last one
but I give myself to it.
I circle around God, around the primordial tower.
I've been circling for thousands of years
and I still don't know: am I a falcon,
a storm, or a great song
translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy


I live my life in expanding orbits
in order to take things in.
Perhaps I will not achieve the last
but I will try

I am circling around God, around the ancient tower,
and I've been circling for thousands of years.
I still don’t know whether I’m a falcon, a storm
or a great song 
translated by R L Swihart



rilke Pictures, Images and Photos



*

Genesis 32: 24 - 30 (NASB):

24 Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak.

25 And when he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he touched the socket of his thigh; so the socket of Jacob's thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him.

26 Then he said, "Let me go, for the dawn is breaking." But he said, "I will not let you go unless you bless me."

27 So he said to him, "What is your name?" And he said, "Jacob."

28 And he said, "Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed."

29 Then Jacob asked him and said, "Please tell me your name." But he said, "Why is it that you ask my name?" And he blessed him there.

30 So Jacob named the place Peniel* for he said, "I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been preserved."

*Hebrew for Face of God.



Jacob Wrestling the Angel by Gustave Dore

Jacob Wrestling with the Angel Pictures, Images and Photos




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