cutting on the action

photography and film – facts, ideas, values

Autumn leaves




It’s winter now. As I write out a description of leaves being picked up by a blackbird looking for worm and insects, somewhere in the back of my mind is an ancient Chinese poem about leaves. In looking, there is Rilke’s

Wer jetzt kein Haus hat, baut sich keines mehr.
Wer jetzt allein ist, wird es lange bleiben,
wird wachen, lesen, lange Briefe schreiben
und wird in den Alleen hin und her
unruhig wandern, wenn die Blätter treiben.

…wake, read, write letters long to friends
And will the alleys up and down
Walk restlessly, when falling leaves dance.

Check out the five versions in the links in the Rilke post to see how hard it is to translate ‘walking’, alleys’, ‘ leaves’.

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December 23, 2007 - Posted by | Poetry, Rilke, translation

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