Buddha in the Mandorla
Centre of all centres, core of cores,
almond self-enclosed and ever-sweetening--
all of this, from here to all the stars,
is your fruit’s flesh: we bid you greeting.
Look, you feel how nothing any longer
clings to you; your shell is infinite,
and the strong juice extends there, pressing it.
A radiance from outside makes it stronger,
for up above, ablaze and full, your suns
have turned around to face you. Yet
in you already something that
endures beyond them has begun.
Susan McLean (translation)
Buddha in der Glorie
Mitte aller Mitten, Kern der Kerne,
Mandel, die sich einschließt und versüßt, -
dieses Alles bis an alle Sterne
ist dein Fruchtfleisch: Sei gegrüßt.
Sieh, du fühlst, wie nichts mehr an dir hängt;
im Unendlichen ist deine Schale,
und dort steht der starke Saft und drängt.
Und von außen hilft ihm ein Gestrahle,
denn ganz oben werden deine Sonnen
voll und glühend umgedreht.
Doch in dir ist schon begonnen,
was die Sonnen übersteht.
Rainer Maria Rilke (1908)
Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) was one of the leading modernist poets in German. He was born in Prague, but traveled all over Europe. He served for a while as Rodin's secretary and was deeply interested in the visual arts.
Susan McLean is a retired professor of English from Southwest Minnesota State University. She has published two books of her own poetry and a book of translations of Martial's Latin epigrams. She also translates poetry from French and German.
10/15/2019 10:34:19 am
I am impressed by the quality of this translation. Susan McLean manages to give us form AND content as soriginally intended. I have read her bio and therefore know she is a consummate professional, therefore perhaps doesn't need my praise. Still, so many professionals miss. Tranlsation of Rilke's poetry is especially difficult to get right. Thank you.
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