It’s ok for the rich

Title Poem – Rainer Maria Rilke (trans. Robert Bly)

It’s O.K. for the rich and the lucky to keep still;
no one wants to know about them anyway.
But those in need have to step forward,
have to say: I am blind,
or: I’m about to go blind,
or: nothing is going well with me,
or: I have a child who is sick,
or: right there I’m sort of glued together…

And probably that doesn’t do anything either.

They have to sing; if they didn’t sing, everyone
would walk past, as if they were fences or trees.

That’s where you hear good singing.

People really are strange: they prefer
to hear castratos in boy choirs.

But God himself comes and stays a long time
when the world of half-people start to bore him.

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