Rilke Part 1 Sonnet 20 “Dir aber Herr”

“Claude, two years old, and his hobby horse,” by Pablo Picasso

Dir aber, Herr, o was weih ich dir, sag . . . [O what can I dedicate to you, o Lord? Speak . . . ]

Part 1, Sonnet 20.

English Translation by Bruce Donehower.

“O what can I dedicate to you, o Lord? Speak! You, who schooled the beasts in perfect pitch. I remember an evening in springtime in Russia – a horse, a stallion . . . it came alone in my direction from the village – its front hoof hobbled – to spend the night alone in the meadows; how the shock of his mane beat strongly upon his neck the gross tempo of his crippled gallop. How pulsed the fountain springs of his stallion blood! Vast distances, as if! He sang and he listened – the cipher of your myths sealed inside him. His image, I dedicate. It.”

German Text

Dir aber, Herr, o was weih ich dir, sag,
der das Ohr den Geschöpfen gelehrt?—
Mein Erinnern an einen Frühlingstag,
seinen Abend, in Russland—, ein Pferd . . .

Herüber vom Dorf kam der Schimmel allein,
an der vorderen Fessel den Pflock,
um die Nacht auf den Wiesen allein zu sein;
wie schlug seiner Mähne Gelock

an den Hals im Takte des Übermuts,
bei dem grob gehemmten Galopp.
Wie sprangen die Quellen des Rossebluts!

Der fühlte die Weiten, und ob!
Der sang und der hörte—, dein Sagenkreis
war in ihm geschlossen.
Sein Bild: ich weih’s.

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Links to other Rilke Project videos:

Part 1 No. 8 & Part 2 No. 29 | Fruhling ist weidergekommen | Atmen

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In addition to literary studies, the local Section in Fair Oaks puts a great deal of emphasis on imagination and creativity. These performance videos arise directly from our local Section work. Some of these works were premiered at Section-inspired New Moon Salons. These New Moon Salons, which feature literature and music, will resume when it is safe for us to meet in person. The local Section group in Fair Oaks has inspired a sub-group of artists dedicated to the study and performance of Fairy Tales (Märchen), Myths, Legends. Members of this artistic group also produce performance videos and recordings of poetry and drama.