Fi Webster

Fi Webster

Posted on 09/06/2014

Photo taken on September  6, 2014

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Rainer Maria Rilke

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animals see, people see

animals see, people see
This is an attempt at illustrating the opening lines of Rainer Maria Rilke's long poem, "The Eighth Elegy." After Stephen Mitchell's translation into English is the original German.

With all its eyes the natural world looks out
into the Open. Only our eyes are turned
backward, and surround plant, animal, child
like traps, as they emerge into their freedom.
We know what is really out there only from
the animal's gaze; for we take the very young
child and force it around, so that it sees
objects—not the Open, which is so
deep in animals' faces. Free from death.
We, only, can see death; the free animal
has its decline in back of it, forever,
and God in front, and when it moves, it moves
already in eternity, like a fountain.

Mit allen Augen sieht die Kreatur
das Offene. Nur unsre Augen sind
wie umgekehrt und ganz um sie gestellt
als Fallen, rings um ihren freien Ausgang.
Was draußen ist, wir wissens aus des Tiers
Antlitz allein; denn schon das frühe Kind
wenden wir um und zwingens, daß es rückwärts
Gestaltung sehe, nich das Offne, das
im Tiergesicht so tief ist. Frei von Tod.
Ihn sehen wir allein; das freie Tier
hat seinen Untergang stets hinter sich
und vor sich Gott, und wenn es geht, so gehts
in Ewigkeit, so wie die Brunnen gehen.

Stan Askew, Cathy Bourhis, Tim Lukeman have particularly liked this photo

Cathy Bourhis
Cathy Bourhis
4 years ago.
Fi Webster
Fi Webster
Thanks, Cathy!
4 years ago.
Stan Askew
Stan Askew
this is a real beauty!
4 years ago.
Fi Webster
Fi Webster
Thanks, Stan! I got a real beauty from you in the mail not long ago: I love it that both sides have a collage on them....thank you so much!
3 years ago.