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Thread: Need opinions to help with my analysis! :)

  1. #1
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    Need opinions to help with my analysis! :)

    edit, thank you posters
    Last edited by robinhuynh; 03-23-2010 at 01:28 AM.

  2. #2
    Dance Magic Dance OrphanPip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robinhuynh View Post


    Abandon entouré d'abandon,
    tendresse touchant aux tendresses…
    C'est ton intérieur qui sans cesse
    se caresse, dirait-on;

    se caresse en soi-même,
    par son propre reflet éclairé.
    Ainsi tu inventes le thème
    du Narcisse exaucé.

    -- Rainer Maria Rilke
    I'm going to produce what I feel is a less poetic, although more accurate, translation for the purpose of making discussion of the theme easier.

    Abandon surrounded in abandon,
    Tenderness is touching tenderness...
    It is your inner-self that ceaselessly
    caresses you, one would say;

    Self-caressing within oneself,
    through your clear reflection.
    Thus you invent the theme
    of Narcissus fulfilled.

    My translation is horrible, aesthetically, but oh well. The other translation retains the alliteration and consonance that works so well in the original French.

    I looked up some criticism on this poem, (it's in French unfortunately, and only a small part of it addresses the poem), and the first thing we have to get out of the way is that this is a poem about a rose. Now it's not literally about a rose, it's from a book of poems called Les Roses, but about what the rose symbolically represented for Rilke. The paper I read argued that the rose for Rilke was a symbol of unity and self-containment.

    So, what we essentially have here is a poem that reflects Rilke's perception of the Rose as Unity. He uses repetition, alliteration, and consonance, to create a very "dense" poem that reflects the self-containment of his symbolic rose. Lines 1 and 2 double back on themselves, while lines 5-6 are effectively a mirror of lines 3-4, down to the meter even. The Narcissus line is the trickiest part, I think it can be interpreted in a few ways. To me, the implication is that because of the rose's self-contained celebration of itself, it can achieve the mythological beauty of Narcissus without the risk of self-destruction. Not so sure on the last 2 lines.

    Interpreting it as a love song poses a problem for me. It seems to me if the "you" in this poem is a love interest or woman, she is one so perfect and self-contained that the speaker is in so much awe of her that she is unapproachable.

    With the questions that these poems make you think of, try looking at them and see if you can find any opinions about those questions within the poem.

    Edit: I like how in lines 3-4 it is the interior that is doing the caressing, while in line 5-6 it is the exterior reflections
    Last edited by OrphanPip; 01-30-2010 at 01:25 AM.
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  3. #3
    Registered User quasimodo1's Avatar
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    Bensalem, PA 19020

    Rainer Maria Rilke

    from The Complete French Poems
    Rainer Maria Rilke
    translated by A. Poulin, Jr.

    This translation for Bertrand Mathieu

    "Rose, O pure contradiction,
    vulupte' de n'etre le sommeil de personne
    sous tant de paupieres." --R. M. Rilke

    I. If we're sometimes so amazed
    by your freshness, happy rose,
    it's that deep inside yourself,
    petal against petal, you're in repose.

    Fully awake while their center's slept
    who knows how long, this silent
    heart's tendernesses touch,
    converge into an urgent mouth.

    II. I see you, rose, half-open book
    filled with so many pages
    of that detailed happiness
    we will never read. Magus-book,

    opened by the wind and read
    with our eyes closed. . . . .
    butterflies fly out of you, stunned
    for having had the same ideas.

    III. Rose, O you completely perfect thing,
    always self-contained and yet
    spilling yourself forever-- O head
    of a torso with too much sweetness missing,

    nothing's your equal, O you, supreme
    essence of this fragile place;
    your perfume is the very seam
    of this love-space we barely penetrate.

    IV. Surely it was us who encouraged
    you to refill your calyx.
    Enchanted by such artifice,
    your abundance found its courage.

    You were rich enough to be yourself
    a hundred times in just one flower;
    that's the condition of the lover. . . . .
    But you never did think otherwise.

    V. Abandon surrounds abandon,
    tenderness touches tenderness. . . . .
    You'd think your center would caress
    itself on and on and on. . . . .

    caress itself in itself and seem
    to glow with its own image.
    Thus you invent the theme
    of the fulfilled Narcissus.

    VI. A single rose is every rose
    and this one: irreplaceable,
    perfect, a supple vocable
    by the text of things enclosed.

    Without her, how can we ever
    talk about what our hopes were,
    about the tender intervals
    in this perpetual departure.

    VI. Bright cool rose leaning
    on my eye that's closed--
    like a thousand eyelids

    on mine that's warm.
    A thousand sleeps against
    this counterfeit in which I roam
    in a fragrant labryrinth.

    {7 of 27 parts}

  4. #4
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    Thank you to both posters! Very helpful!
    Keep them coming!!
    *takes notes* ty

    I'll be sure to tell how my presentation goes

  5. #5
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