[on the Rilke translations of M.D. Herter Norton and J.B. Leishman]
how will I make the song outlast my heart
perhaps he cried
but song in the mirror quested continually,
in fragments almost breaking into fire
or like small forest pools
and the moss besides,
their least token beckons.
rose petal from the rose tree ingathered;
far from the field itself,
the wind, unearthly desire
has lost its way, strayed into the branches
where the far flung birds are caught
and then depart,
their singing in the heart.
mary angela douglas 29 october 2016