Friday, September 12, 2014

Your suffering's taste

I recently acquired The Poetry of Rilke, translated by Edward Snow and with an introduction by Adam Zagajewski (excerpt), a volume I've been wanting for years. I unpacked it and opened it randomly:
You must suffer long, not knowing what,
until suddenly out of bitterly chewed fruit
your suffering's taste comes forth in you.
Then almost instantly you'll love what's tasted. No one
will ever talk you out of it

— Rainer Maria Rilke
Paris, March 1913

It's a bilingual edition, and I read aloud in my imaginary German.

I've been looking into taking German classes. Am I crazy? I want to learn German for the poetry. No one will ever talk me out of it.


Gregory McCormick said...

I agree. German poetry will keep you busy for years and years (Heine is one of my favorites). Goethe Institute has great German courses...

Stefanie said...

Oh that's lovely. You might want to try a free online language learning site called Duolingo. It's pretty good and makes learning language like a game.

Isabella K said...

I've enrolled in a non-credit course at McGill. Goethe Institute's a little intensive -- I need to get me feet wet first.

Thanks for the tip on Duolingo, Stefanie. I'll check it out. I generally find online language learning to be a little lacking, but it might nicely supplement in-person classes.