THE SUMMER RAIN
Abruptly, nobody knows what it is, something's
subtracted from the greenness of the park;
you feel it edging closer to the window
without a sound. But pressing and intense,
out of the woods comes the song of a plover,
someone's Jerome comes to mind:
so much passion and solitude rise
from this single voice, which the downpour
will answer. The walls of the hall
have stepped back with their portraits, as though
they weren't allowed to hear us speak.
The faded tapestries reflect
the undecided light of late afternoons
you felt afraid in when you were a child.
--Rainer Maria Rilke
translated by Franz Wright
Copyright c 1990 by Oberlin College. May not be
reproduced without permission.