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Death Analysis

Author: poem of Rainer Maria Rilke Type: poem Views: 6

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Come thou, thou last one, whom I recognize,

unbearable pain throughout this body's fabric:

as I in my spirit burned, see, I now burn in thee:

the wood that long resisted the advancing flames

which thou kept flaring, I now am nourishing

and burn in thee.

My gentle and mild being through thy ruthless fury

has turned into a raging hell that is not from here.

Quite pure, quite free of future planning, I mounted

the tangled funeral pyre built for my suffering,

so sure of nothing more to buy for future needs,

while in my heart the stored reserves kept silent.

Is it still I, who there past all recognition burn?

Memories I do not seize and bring inside.

O life! O living! O to be outside!

And I in flames. And no one here who knows me.

[Written in December 1926, this poem was the last

entry in Rilke's notebook, less than two weeks before his

death at age 51.

Translated by Albert Ernest Flemming


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