by Rainer Maria Rilke

English version by Stephen Mitchell
Original Language German

King's-heart. Core of a high
ruler-tree. Balsam-fruit.
Golden heart-nut. Urn-poppy
in the center of the central shrine
(where the echo rebounds,
like a splinter of silence,
when you make a movement
because you can feel
that the way you were standing
was a little too noisy...),
removed from the nations,
in invisible orbits
orbiting king's heart.

Where has it gone,
the heart of the gentle
: Smile, from outside
placed on the hesitant
roundness of cheerful fruits;
or, it may be, the moth's
preciousness, gauze-wing, feeler...

Where, though, where is the heart
that sang them both into oneness,
the poet's-heart?
: Wind

-- from Ahead of All Parting: The Selected Poetry and Prose of Rainer Maria Rilke, Translated by Stephen Mitchell

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