Tuesday, August 12, 2008

best of summer : : four

Summer reading. Last night I dove into Unaccustomed Earth and I am loving it. I'm also in the middle of an annual reading of Pride and Prejudice and a collection of short stories by Truman Capote. On the plane back from London I read Sense and Sensibility and Brideshead Revisited again upon return--all inspired by our visit. Long novels and lazy days are perfect summer delights.

Poetry, however, has often felt to me to be consumed in winter and autumn. That being said, this Rilke poem translates a summer walk into a Winslow Homer style landscape painting.

Along the Sun-Drenched Roadside

Along the sun-drenched roadside, from the great
hollow half-tree trunk, which for generations
has been a trough, renewing in itself
an inch or two of rain, I satisfy
my thirst: taking the water's pristine coolness
into my whole body through my wrists.
Drinking would be too powerful, too clear;
but this unhurried gesture of restraint
fills my whole consciousness with shining water.

Thus, if you came, I could be satisfied
to let my hand rest lightly, for a moment,
lightly, upon your shoulder or your breast.

Rainer Maria Rilke

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