rilke baby

I've been waiting (fruitlessly) for this new translation of Rilke's Sonnets to Orpheus to make it over from eng-land but nothing, it's been almost two years now, and I have given up. Checked it out at the PCL, since I cannot afford the cost, sorry I mean carbon footprint naturally, of shipping it across ocean.

The poet/translator is Don Paterson and it is so lovely (so far), like clear water, no irritating grit but gorgeously shifting shallows and depths. The third one has been on my mind lately and he does it beautifully (beginning from second stanza):

A song is not desire; so you taught.
Nor is it courtship; nor is it courtship's prize.
Song is being. Easy for a god.
But when are we? When will the Earth and stars

be squandered on us, on our living? Youth--
don't fool yourself that love unlocks this art;
for though love's voice might force your lips apart

you must forget those sudden songs. They'll end.
True singing is another kind of breath.
A breath of nothing. A sigh in a god. A wind.