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The Grown-Up Analysis

Author: poem of Rainer Maria Rilke Type: poem Views: 24

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All this stood upon her and was the world

and stood upon her with all its fear and grace

as trees stand, growing straight up, imageless

yet wholly image, like the Ark of God,

and solemn, as if imposed upon a race.

As she endured it all: bore up under

the swift-as-flight, the fleeting, the far-gone,

the inconceivably vast, the still-to-learn,

serenely as a woman carrying water

moves with a full jug. Till in the midst of play,

transfiguring and preparing for the future,

the first white veil descended, gliding softly

over her opened face, almost opaque there,

never to be lifted off again, and somehow

giving to all her questions just one answer:

In you, who were a child once-in you.

Translated by Stephen Mitchell


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