Monday, July 9, 2012

I warned you that I was planning to redesign this blog, and months later I finally did. If you hate the format, let me know; but it did seem to me that the sidebar style had become awkward and unwieldy. If you can think of anything else I ought to include on the site, leave me a note.

Today we have the sort of weather that people in South Carolina must picture when they imagine Maine: blue-eyed, clean-sprung, cool but with the promise of modest heat. Yesterday I made strawberry ice cream; today I will make lists. But also I am thinking about bardic poetry . . . and what one poet's private, humble call to bardic might be. For don't you, too, have moments when you know you must speak to anyone who will listen?

from Letters to a Young Poet 
Rainer Maria Rilke
And about emotions: all emotions are pure which gather you and lift you up; that emotion is impure which seizes only one side of your being and so distorts you. Everything that you can think in the face of your childhood, is right. Everything that makes more of you than you have heretofore been in your best hours, is right. Every heightening is good if it is in your whole blood, if it is not intoxication, not turbidity, but joy which one can see clear to the bottom. Do you understand what I mean?
trans. W. D. Herter Norton


Ruth said...

I do like this format!

Thomas said...

The new format looks fantastic. Particularly appealing is the lovely photo of the Frost barn snugged in the corner--it's so perfect there.

I wish I understood what Rilke means in this line: Everything that you can think in the face of your childhood, is right.
What on earth does "in the face of your childhood" mean?

Dawn Potter said...

That's the mystery line I've been mulling over too. Could it mean "everything that your adult self and your child self might be able to face together"? Or "everything your adult self does that doesn't negate the essence of your child self"? Neither of those seems quite right, though.

Carlene said...

I think it means whatever you can think, using your child-self filter...somehow preserves the innocence and purity of the experience?

Again, brings Whitman to mind..."there was a child went forth on a day..." That piece seems to fit in with Rilke here.

Thomas said...

I'm thinking "in the face of" must mean something like in the knowledge of or confronting that reality of your childhood self or experiences. That's the best I can do.