Wednesday, April 25, 2007

almost a girl

I am not sure what happened to the other half of this girl, or who she is. That she lives in my collection among the objects of my chaotic passion and desire requires significance of her self, of her dis-membered anonymity. In a way her absence touches me more profoundly than if she were whole, the mystery that surrounds her ultimate, unassailable unknowability. Perhaps she contested something about this betrayal of her, as almost a girl, while fiercely clutching what remained as the requisite feature of survival in the world, what she privileged as necessary in this life--not the head or the heart, but legs, to run away.

And it was almost a girl, and she came out of
that single blessedness of song and lyre,
and shone clear through her springtime-veil
and made herself a bed inside my hearing.

And slept within me. And her sleep was all:
the trees, each that I admired, those
perceptible distances, the meadows I felt,
and every wonder that concerned my self.

She slept the world. Singing god, how have you
so perfected her that she made no demand
to first be awake? See, she emerged and slept.

Where is her death? O, will you still discover
this theme, before your song consumes itself? –
Where is she falling to, from me?...a girl, almost...

--Rilke, from Sonnets to Orpheus