How we waste our afflictions!
We study them, stare out beyond them into bleak continuance,
hoping to glimpse some end. Whereas they’re really
our wintering foliage, our dark greens of meaning, one
of the seasons of the clandestine year . . .
RAINER MARIA RILKE, Duino Elegies, translated by Edward Snow (10th Elegy)
Look: the trees exist; the houses
we dwell in stand there stalwartly. Only we
pass by it all, like a rush of air.
And everything conspires to keep quiet about us,
half out of shame perhaps, half out of some secret hope.
Ibid. (2nd Elegy)
is what it is. O childhood hours,
when behind each shape there was more
than mere past, and before us – not the future.
Ibid. (4th Elegy)