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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

168                   MODERN   GERMAN   LITERATURE

(another mystic, Christian Morgenstern, turned the idea into jest-
ing rhymes), express so clearly - 'dog' and 'house' show a begin-
ning and an end. But has the thing the sense and limits of the name')
The schoolmen of the Middle Ages - nominalists, terminists con-
ceptualists - had disputed for generations on this problem. But
the schoolmen did not dream of the task Rilke sets himself: 'dienend
durch die Dinge %u gehen\ to listen to the stirring of their hidden
spirit, and to weave this inner life of things with their own rhythm
(which expresses God) into his verse. 'Alle Dinge, an die ich mid
gebe* runs a later poem, 'werden reich undgeben mich aus9 And in Mir
^ur Feier Rilke gives his warning: you are killing these things you
define by name, these things that 7 love to hear singing. In my
arms forests sleep, and I am the music over their tops, and all the
darkness of my nature is the darkness that is in violins. Things
are the mystery - the bleeding goblet - revealed to the pilgrim
when the last curtain falls from the altar; and then he cannot turn
back from salvation: the mystic arrow has hit the Player's aim.
And (since the Divine is in me and in all these things) is not my
life the life of things ? He asks:

Kann mir einer sagen, wohin

ich mit meinem Tueben reiche?

Ob ich nicht auch im Sturme streiche

und als Welle wohne im Teichey

und ob ich nicht selbst die blasse^ bleicbe

Jruhlingsfrierende "Rirke bin?

The final poem links Mir ^ur Feier with Das Stundenbuch:

Du darfst nicht warten^ bis Gott %u dir geht

undsagt: Ich bin.

Ein Gott, der seine Starke eingesteht^

hat keinen Sinn.

Da musst du wissen, dass dich Gott durchweht

seit Anbeginn^

und n>enn dein Her% dir gluht und nichts verrdt,

dann schafft er drin.

Where God is not, where even His seasons are anaemic or feverish,
is in the tentacular city:

Das ist dorty m die let^ten Kutten sind
und neue Hauser, die mit engen T&rusten