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This poem is taken from PN Review 84, Volume 18 Number 4, March - April 1992.

Twelve poems from Neue Gedichte Translated by Stephen Cohn Rainer Maria Rilke

THE ROSE WINDOW

Inside, the lazy padding of soft feet
creates a silence, almost stupefies;
then all at once one of the drowsing cats
awakes - and pounces; its enormous eye

seizes the drifting image of that quiet,
which for a little while yet swims around,
before the golden whirlpool sucks at it
and drags it down into oblivion:

just as this eye apparently asleep
gapes open, strikes, and drags its capture deep
into the thunder of its own red blood -

so the rose window in that holy time
within the great cathedral's scented gloom
captured a heart and dragged it up to God.


THE LAST EVENING
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