No, I’m Not Going To Be Destroyed


An unobtrusive poem by Rainer Maria Rilke, whose work is among the most fantastic literary artifacts transmitted into modernity. Translation: Franz Wright—

No, I’m Not Going To Be Destroyed

No, I’m not going to be destroyed by anyone,
and I pray that I do not suddenly go blind
within, where the depths are, which endure
and hold up everything,
and I need a little fame,
just enough so they may once again find me
worthy of you, and hence say of me:
This mirror was once in her possession
and for a time belonged to her
and its silver hilt is still
surrounded by the legend of her hands
and whoever would comprehend the unending,
discover her beauty in the brilliance
of this mirror —, which she would then present
to the solitary angel, that within it
he might catch the still too distant fires
and turn the brightening of God rising
on past darknesses and things.

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