Performance Video/Poem by Rainer Maria Rilke – Part 1, Sonnet 16 in Sonnets to Orpheus

Photo by Bruce Donehower

“Du, mein Freund, bist einsam… ” (“You, my friend, are lonely… ”)

A Sonnet for a Dog

In 1921 Rilke moved into the tower at Muzot. In the coming weeks of winter 1922, he completed the Duino Elegies and wrote the Sonnets to Orpheus: two poetic masterpieces of the twentieth century.

In the autumn, a neighbor thought that the poet might like to have a dog to keep him company.

Rilke declined the offer.

I don’t know what happened to the pooch.

In this performance video, Marion recites in German. My translation of the German appears in captions as Marion speaks. I wrote the music to express my understanding of the poem. Translation © Bruce Donehower, 2021.

 

Written by Bruce Donehower
September 09, 2021