Thursday, July 17, 2014

Tom and I are heading south today, for an overnight in Portland. Tom will be showing work samples to a curator who's putting together a photo show, and I will be wandering around by myself having fun. We'll be staying on Peaks Island in a Victorian-era hotel built by the Eighth Maine, a Civil War regiment that met every year on the island for its reunion. Apparently, at one point, the soldiers decided they needed a hotel to house the wives and children. Conveniently, the general of the regiment then won the Louisiana State Lottery, and the hotel was born. (Needless to say, it does not have wifi, so you may not be hearing from me till Saturday.)

In the meantime, add your comments to yesterday's post. Teresa's entry reminded me of how scary it can be to disagree with a poet whose work I respect so much. And I do love so many of Rilke's poems. I taught "The Panther" on Tuesday, when I was leading that workshop for the domestic-violence support group. The women were overwhelmed by it . . .  as I am, every time I read it.

In other news, the Haverford College alumni magazine has just published a small feature on Same Old Story, if you feel like taking a look.

3 comments:

Ruth said...

nice little (too little :-) article

wfkammann said...

Der Panther
Im Jardin des Plantes, Paris

Sein Blick ist von Vorübergehen der Stäbe
So müd geworden, daß er nichts mehr hält.
Ihm ist, als ob es tausend Stäbe gäbe
und hinter tausend Stäben keine Welt.

Der weiche Gang geschmeidig starker Schritte,
der sich im allerkleinsten Kreise dreht,
ist wie ein Tanz von Kraft um eine Mitte,
in der betäubt ein großer Wille steht.

Nur manchmal schiebt der Vorhang der Pupille
sich lautlos auf—. Dann geht ein Bild hinein,
geht durch der Glieder angespannte Stille—
und hört im Herzen auf zu sein.

The Panther
In the Botanical Garden, Paris

His glance, hypnotized by the passing bars
Has grown so tired it notices nothing more.
For him, it’s as though there were a thousand bars
And behind those thousand bars no world at all.

The easy gait: smooth strong paces,
Forth and back again in the smallest circles,
Is like a dance of strength around a center,
in which, half-drugged, a powerful will is held.

Only now and then the pupil’s curtain is
Drawn silently up-. Then a picture enters,
passes through the silence of taut limbs-
And dies again in his heart.

Dawn Potter said...

"The Panther" is probably among the handful of poems that matter most to me in this world.