“Breath! You invisible poem!” / Sonnets to Orpheus

“Breathe!” artwork by Marion Donehower


From Sonnets to Orpheus by Rainer Maria Rilke / Atmen, du unsichtbares Gedicht! /
“Breath! You invisible poem!”

Part 2 Sonnet 1



English Translation by Bruce Donehower.

“Breath! You invisible poem! Back and forth, back and forth, exchanging in and out world space and Being. Balance of this and balance of that in which I happen. Wave on the waters of whom I am; the perfect amount of all possible oceans – you have it all. How many worlds within worlds are inside me? The many winds are like my son. Air, do you know me? So full of the many places that once were mine, you slippery rind.”

Atmen, du unsichtbares Gedicht!
Immerfort um das eigne
Sein rein eingetauschter Weltraum. Gegengewicht,
in dem ich mich rhythmisch ereigne.

Einzige Welle, deren
allmähliches Meer ich bin;
sparsamstes du von allen möglichen Meeren,—

Wie viele von diesen Stellen der Räume waren schon
innen in mir. Manche Winde
sind wie main Sohn.

Erkennst du mich, Luft, du, voll noch einst meiniger Orte?
Du, einmal glatte Rinde.


Links to other Rilke Project videos:

Part 1 No. 8 & Part 2 No. 29 | Dir aber Herr | Fruhling ist weidergekommen


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.