19 Jan 2020 4sunbury   » (Observer)

The beggar's song

translated by Mike R. Burch, orginal Rainier

Rainer Maria Rilke translated by Michael Burch



I live outside your gates,

exposed to the rain, exposed to the sun;

sometimes I’ll cradle my right ear

in my right palm;

then when I speak my voice sounds strange,

alien . . .



I’m unsure whose voice I’m hearing:

mine or yours.

I implore a trifle;

the poets cry for more.



Sometimes I cover both eyes

and my face disappears;

there it lies heavy in my hands

looking peaceful, unafraid,

so that no one would ever think

I have no place to lay my head.





Michael R. Burch’s poems and translations have appeared in hundreds of literary journals. He also edits www.thehypertexts.com and has served as guest editor of international poetry and translations for Better Than Starbucks.

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