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On Hearing Of A Death Analysis

Author: poem of Rainer Maria Rilke Type: poem Views: 10

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We lack all knowledge of this parting. Death

does not deal with us. We have no reason

to show death admiration, love or hate;

his mask of feigned tragic lament gives us

a false impression. The world's stage is still

filled with roles which we play. While we worry

that our performances may not please,

death also performs, although to no applause.

But as you left us, there broke upon this stage

a glimpse of reality, shown through the slight

opening through which you dissapeared: green,

evergreen, bathed in sunlight, actual woods.

We keep on playiing, still anxious, our difficult roles

declaiming, accompanied by matching gestures

as required. But your presence so suddenly

removed from our midst and from our play, at times

overcomes us like a sense of that other

reality: yours, that we are so overwhelmed

and play our actual lives instead of the performance,

forgetting altogehter the applause.

Translated by Albert Ernest Flemming


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