Rainer Maria Rilke: “From a Childhood”

From a Childhood

The darkness was like a treasure that gleamed
in the room where the boy sat, hidden within himself.
And when his mother entered, as if in a dream,
a glass trembled silently, high on the shelf.
She thought how the room made her feel exposed.
She kissed her boy: “Are you here?” she said.
They stared at the piano, both filled with dread,
for many an evening, a song she’d composed
would bind this child in its strange, dark thread.

He sat very still. His wide gaze froze
upon her hand, weighed down by its ring,
and then, as though through deep drifts of snow,
across the ivory keys it went journeying.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Translated from German by Paul Weinfield, © 2015
Photo by David Galstyan

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