Grown Woman
R. M. Rilke
translation by Rosemary Hutzler

All of it stood upon her and was the world,
and on her, with the rest, stood grace and terror
the way trees stand, straight up and growing taller,
pure image and purely abstract, like the Covenant Ark,
and gravely, as though given to a nation.

She bore up under it, bore up and out
what fluttered past; was fleeting, farthest distant,
the vast of what was yet to be encountered
as the full vessel by the water girl is borne,
evenly. Until, amidst the game
of changing shape and other preparation,
the first white veil came drifting leisurely
over the unfolded countenance,

nearly impossible to see through, never to come off,
and somehow, for every question, giving her
back a solitary, indefinite answer:
In you, remnant of the child you were, in you.

R.M. Rilke, "Die Erwachsene"

Image: Wynn Bullock, Woman's Hands, 1956

More poetry:

The Relentless Pull of Genetic Memory Daniel Lupkin
December, 2002

Driving Julia Glassman
November, 2002

Repentance Poem #4 Matthue Roth
October, 2002

four untitled poems Joseph Dobkin
September, 2002

Hands Harvey
August, 2002

Jealousy Matt Morris
July, 2002

dick Matthue Roth
June, 2002

Josh Ring's Track Meet Josh Ring
May, 2002

Experimental Values Shaun Hanson
April, 2002

mako shark insanity! Adam Sontag
March, 2002

Deep, Jewish Pain Andrea Liu
February, 2002

Damp Memories Joseph Dobkin
January, 2002

Can you write better?
Submit your poem to Zeek by clicking here.

January 2003

jay's head
josh ring