Thursday, 8 May 2008


discussion about rilke elsewhere have got me to reading rilke again, this in particular. haven't come across the original or i'd have posted it but here's a couple of versions both of which i like and one in portuguese, that i think is rather lovely

Extinguish my sight, and I can still see you;
plug up my ears, and I can still hear;
even without feet I can walk toward you,
and without mouth I can still implore.
Break off my arms, and I will hold you
with my heart as if it were a hand;
strangle my heart, and my brain will still throb;
and should you set fire to my brain,
I still can carry you with my blood.

trans annemarie s. kidder

Extinguish Thou my eyes:I still can see Thee,
deprive my ears of sound:I still can hear Thee,
and without feet I still can come to Thee,
and without voice I still can call to Thee.

Sever my arms from me, I still will hold Thee
with all my heart as with a single hand,
arrest my heart, my brain will keep on beating,
and Should Thy fire at last my brain consume,
the flowing of my blood will carry Thee.

trans albert ernest flemming

Apágame los ojos: puedo verte,
ciérrame los oídos: puedo oirte,
y hasta sin plantas puedo ir hacia ti
y hasta sin boca puedo conjurarte.
Destrúyeme los brazos: puedo asirte
en mi corazón lo mismo que una mano,
detán mi corazón y mi cerebro
palpitará, y si arrojas fuego en él
te llevaré en la sangre.


Roxana said...

Lösch mir die Augen aus: ich kann dich sehn,
wirf mir die Ohren zu: ich kann dich hören,
und ohne Füße kann ich zu dir gehen,
und ohne Mund noch kann ich dich beschwören.
Brich mir die Arme ab, ich fasse dich
mit meinem Herzen wie mit einer Hand,
halt mir das Herz zu, und mein Hirn wird schlagen,
und wirfst du in mein Hirn den Brand,
so werd ich dich auf meinem Blute tragen.

Andrew Shields said...

Sorry, not a comment on Rilke, just wondering if you have time to vote in week 11 of the DPP, as the vote is very close this week and it would be great to get a few more votes in! I'll be tallying up Monday evening (May 12). Thanks!

Marta said...

Ha! gotcha! this is a rilke cyclone :)

I would have thought the spanish version was the more intense but, no, I actually prefer the first!

can I copy it?

by the way, I called coz I found some very unusual maps, and I know you are fond of them...but maybe you know them already

Centro de Desarrollo Educativo Integral said...

I'll have to thank you a lot because i've been looking for a spanish version of the poem Das Stundenbuch (The Book of Hours) (1899-1903) and you have posted one... You though it was in portuguese but seems pretty spanish to me.. I live in Peru. I had the english version and to be honest i translated it myseld but now with another version i can improve it... Thanks and very good blog... :)

swiss said...

looks like i've posted a whole other version! lol

thanks for pointing out that mistake and glad you found it useful