From My Commonplace Book - 42

Autumn Day

by Rainer Maria Rilke

Lord, it is time. The summer was too long.
Lay down thy shadow over the sundials,
and on the meadows let the winds blow strong.

Bid the last fruit to ripen on the vine;
allow them still two friendly southern days
to bring them to perfection and to force
the final sweetness in the heavy wine.

Who has no house will not now build him one.
Who is alone will now be long alone,
will waken, read, and write long letters
and through the barren pathways up and down
restlessly wander when dead leaves are blown.

Rainer Maria Rilke (Bohemian-Austrian, 1875-1926) is one of the greatest poets to have written in the German language. "Autumn Day" was translated by C. F. MacIntyre.


Thank you Merry. I hadn't read this one. Captures very much the sense of autumn.
Wht a delightful lyrical poem - just for this season - thank you Merry. As a writer you will know more but I guess the challenge of translation to retain all the nuances of the original was quite a work of art in itself. And lovely too.
Hi, Enid. Within the last two weeks I saw another translation of this poem and decided I preferred this one, which I found a couple of years ago. Both translations conveyed the same ideas, but I liked the sounds of some of the choices of words in this one. Thanks for pointing out that translation is an art in itself.

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