Sunday, February 7, 2010

dear Rainer

Decades ago, in my bohemian Berkeley days (at 22, steeped in Henry Miller, Merleau-Ponty—and you), I had a terrible crush on a local poet, Anita Barrows, who read in Cody’s, hung out in cafés, spaced out with her notebook.

Yesterday, I saw a flyer in a window about her and another woman who have published an anthology of selections from your “luminous poetry, piercing prose, and intimate letters,” for each day, A Year with Rilke—365 readings—which they’re performing now, accompanied by “maverick cello” played by a man named Mr. Darling (suitable companionship for nomadic flute, I thought). $20 for the joy, at Grace Church in Berkeley.

On the flyer is a color photo of each face. I was startled by Anita’s aging. I’d forgotten she was much older than I back then. She’s aging beautifully (not me).

April 15

This posting was moved from its first spot, in “life world,” to here, and a new, short posting there linked to this one. But I deleted it a short while later. It read
In my ‘20s, a graduate student in philosophy, Rilke (through Heidegger) most dramatized to me that great thought may be in the 20thC Poem, beyond a poetics of experience, imagism, literary echoes, history, religious conviction, etc.

My sojourn was mixed with learning to love honestly, but also coming to appreciate my times as unprecedented. We make a home, rather than lamenting that we can’t go home again. We move on, we make another home.

But seeing Rilke again is like seeing one’s First Love has not aged.
Back to this posting….

Through you, one might likely find a good case for what The Poet wants and what The Poem may be?

For your era, at least. Yet, in being fully inhabited by Duino Elegies, one may also find The Poet and The Poem as your great humanity we still are, albeit as your showing for your time. A reader gives herself, himself a great gift by reincarnating an era of mind. Only relative to bygone peaks can we hope to find our own. Speaking of its time, in its time, to its time, The Poet and The Poem are always traveling. The topography of our evolving is alive.
It seems
our own impermanence is concealed from us.
The trees stand firm, the houses we live in
are still there. We alone
flow past it all, an exchange of air.

Everything conspires to silence us,
partly with shame,
partly with unspeakable hope.

from the Second Duino Elegy
Spoken amid years after The Great War, days that could not conceive what lay ahead, that all stays valid four score years later, yet

Rainer, the hope must be speakable. One needs to hear.

Live where everything does not conspire to silence us.

All life flows through the trees—literal and for minds—that respond to the winds and all.

Our houses ensure our lives flow best.

Flow stays everywhere reflecting how our passage says.