Faded One by Rainer Maria Rilke
translated by Len Krisak (May 2014)
As if she had just died: she wears—
that lightly—both her shawl and gloves.
A fragrance from her chest of drawers
has driven out the scent she loves
and knew herself by, long ago.
She asks no more who she might be
(a distant relative). As though
bemused, she wanders aimlessly,
tidying up the timorous room
she prettifies and shows such care,
just on the chance that all this time,
that same young girl’s still living there.
Len Krisak has published in The London Magazine, The Oxonian Review, PN Review, Standpoint, Agni, The Antioch Review, The Sewanee Review, The Hudson Review, The Dark Horse, Agenda, The Hopkins Review, Commonweal, Literary Imagination, The Oxford Book of Poems on Classical Mythology, and others. His latest book is Virgil’s Eclogues, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010. Forthcoming: The Carmina of Catullus, Carcanet Press, 2015, Afterimage, Measure Press, 2014, Rilke: New Poems, Boydell & Brewer, 2015 and Ovid: The Amores and The Ars Amatoria, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014.
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