She who never arrived, didn’t she contrive
nonetheless to design and decorate my heart?
If we were only here to live what we love,
what then would the heart have left to create?
O sweet joy left blank, perhaps you are
the center of my work, the center of my love.
And if I’ve wept for you so much, that’s because
I’ve preferred your blankness to anything I’ve sketched.
Rainer Maria RilkeTranslate from German by Paul Weinfield, © 2013