Friday, 18 December 2015

Let's have some French poetry for Christmas

Over a month has gone by since my last Blog entry and thoughts turn inevitably to Christmas.  Those of you who know me will also know I try to think ''outside the box'' where creative writing is concerned.  Or, as a seasoned Chief Petty Officer once said to me when we were shifting a large amount of boxes from a large space into a smaller one:  ''Think laterally''.

Whatever our religion (or not), we become swept up in festive activities whether intended (or not).  The following poem is one of a collection by Rainer Maria Rilke.  Rilke was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1875 and died in Switzerland in 1926.  He wrote in both French and German although the following is a translation of one of his French poems.

De Pere en Fils (From Father to Son)

Reject the complicated life,
Look at your hand near the bread on the table:
how clear those two things on the clear cloth are
from father to son and from son to father.

Love the Earth's celestial countryside
and it's joy, hidden by manifest pain,
the quiet window, the harsh door
from father to son and from son to father.

And those kneeling things always in place
and the dog who fidgets, yet outdoes them,
very gentle believer who hardly doubts
from father to son and from son to father.

(c) R M Rilke.

Wishing everyone a peaceful Christmas.  Enjoy the simplicity of silence.

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