In primary school reading Rainer Maria Rilke— how lavish the words, how freeing that a woman should write of blossom breasts and God.
“But though my vigil constantly I keepPoems by Rainer Maria Rilke, trans by Jessie Lemont (Project Gutenberg, 1918)
My God is dark—like woven texture flowing,
A hundred drinking roots, all intertwined;
I only know that from His warmth I’m growing.
More I know not: my roots lie hidden deep
My branches only are swayed by the wind.”
What a sweep of passion.
How my heart sank into my thigh’s hollowed marrows to learn in university that Rilke was just another famous man writing of boobs.
With a name like Maria, famous, and still not a woman. Drat.
Still, how not to like a poet whose whole life arc is set in verse.
Almost century after his death, he’s still on CBC,
And on my jacket.