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The Journey to the West

Though we journey to the West We pray to the East More or less that's the way Each day begins and ends It’s a tale everyone ...

Monday, March 25, 2019

The Panther - in the Jardin des Plantes, Paris

The world probably has little need for another translation of this great Rilke poem but tonight I decided to take it out for a turn around the dance floor.  No better way to understand a poem than to translate it ....

Constantly circling
Passing bars back and forth
His vision grows bleary
Held by each of the ten
Thousand bars passing
While beyond them
Nothing more

Retracing his steps
Over and over again
With deliberate stride
Pads landing softly
Confined to this pattern
As in a ritual dance
Circling the center
 Never once advancing
His great will dazed

Albeit some times
The film quietly lifts
From his eyes and then
Like an image transfixed
His body tenses in silence
As he listens to the beating 
Of his being's very heart

In case you enjoyed this, here's another translation of a poem from Rilke's menagerie -- this one about a swan.

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