Understand, I’ll slip quietly
away from the noisy crowd
when I see the pale stars rising, blooming, over the oaks.

I’ll pursue solitary pathways
through the pale twilit meadows,
with only this one dream:

You come too.

—  Rainer Marie Rilke, “Pathways”



Shaking all over, she arrives near the lamp, and her dizziness grants her one last vague reprieve before she goes up in flames. She has fallen into the green tablecloth, and upon that advantageous background she stretches out for a moment (for a unit of her own time which we have no way of measuring) the profusion of her inconceivable splendor. She looks like a miniature lady who is having a heart attack on the way to the theater. She will never arrive. Besides, where is there a theater for such fragile spectators?…. Her wings, with their tiny golden threads, are moving like a double fan in front of no face; and between them is this thin body, a bilboquet onto which two eyes like emerald balls have fallen back….

It is in you, my dear, that God has exhausted himself. He tosses you into the fire so that he can recover a bit of strength. ( Like a little boy breaking into his piggy bank.)

~ Rainer Maria Rilke
From: The Complete French Poems, Poems and Dedications, 1920-26
translation: Stephen Mitchell


The original in French:   Farfallettina.  Tout agitée elle arrive vers la lampe et son vertige lui donne un dernier répit avant d'être brûlée. Elle s'est abattue sur le tapis vert de la table et sur ce fond avantageux s'étale pour un instant le luxe de son inconcevable splendeur. On dirait, en trop petit, une dame qui avait une panne en se rendant au Théâtre. Elle n'y arrivera point. Et d'ailleurs où est le Théâtre pour de si frêles spectateurs? Ses ailes dont on aperçoit les minuscules baguettes d'or remuent comme un double éventail devant aucune figure; et entre elles ce corps mince, bilboquet où sont retombés deux yeux en boule d'émeraude. C'est en toi, ma chère, que Dieu s'est épuisé. Il te lance à la flamme pour regagner un peu de sa force. (Comme un enfant qui casse sa tire-lire.) 

Image:  siradisi.org 

We understand / blooming and withering / we know them both at once. / And somewhere lions roam / knowing nothing of weakness / so long as their / majesty lasts.
—  Rainer Maria Rilke, from ‘Duino Elegies, Elegy Four’, translated by David Young
Try if you can
to place yourself where pillars mount to ceilings
which are in you; where you can share the feelings
of steps; where arches take great risks to span
the gulf of inward space you could not part with,
heaving it from you would have meant the fall
of your whole being: if you’d had the strength.

Rainer Maria Rilke, excerpt of The Presentation of Mary in the Temple (tr. by N. K. Cruickshank)

Original — Mußt du dich erst an eine Stelle rufen,
wo Säulen in dir wirken; wo du Stufen
nachfühlen kannst; wo Bogen voll Gefahr
den Abgrund eines Raumes überbrücken,
der in die blieb, weil er aus solchen Stücken
getürmt war, daß du sie nicht mehr aus dir
ausheben kannst: du rissest dich denn ein.

And isn’t the whole world yours? For how often you set it on fire with your love and saw it blaze and burn up and secretly replaced it with another world while everyone slept. You felt in such complete harmony with God, when every morning you asked him for a new earth, so that all the ones he had made could have their turn. You thought it would be shabby to save them and repair them; you used them up and held out your hands, again and again, for more world. For your love was equal to everything.
—  Rainer Maria Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge
When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused.
—  Rainer Marie Rilke
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.
—  Rainer Marie Rilke

anonymous asked:

I love your page, the writings you reblog in particular are very inspiring and beautiful. I'm always looking for new books to read! I'm a lyricist, what poetry or readings do you think could help me improve phrasing/rhyming and my story telling!?!

Thank you very much! I would say that you could learn through successful examples of poetic story-telling. In that case, here are my recommendations:

Transformations, Anne Sexton
The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories, Angela Carter
Hadestown, Anaïs Mitchell (album, texts)
Hozier, Hozier (album, texts)
If You Leave, Daughter (album, texts)
Down The Way, Angus and Julia Stone (album, texts)
Poet in New York, Leonard Cohen (album, texts)
Prometheus Unbound, Percy Bysshe Shelley
Gypsy Ballads, Federico García Lorca
Autobiography of Red, Anne Carson
Metamorphoses, Ovid
The Life of Mary, Rainer Maria Rilke
The World’s Wife, Carol Ann Duffy
Memorial, Alice Oswald
The Afternoon of a Faun, Stéphane Mallarmé
Flowers of Evil, Charles Baudelaire
The Sovereign Sun, Odysseus Elytis
A Guide to Folktales, Catherynne Valente
The Anthropology of Water, Anne Carson
The Wild Iris, Louise Glück
Crush, Richard Siken
The Folding Cliffs, M. S. Merwin

Those are what comes first to mind. I hope you like them!

Non posso ricordare. Ma quei momenti
puri dureranno in me come
in fondo a un vaso troppo pieno.
Non penso a te, ma sono per amore tuo
e questo mi dà forza.
Non ti invento nei luoghi
che adesso senza te non hanno senso.
Il tuo non esserci
è già caldo di te, ed è più vero,
più del tuo mancarmi. La nostalgia
spesso non distingue. Perché
cercare allora se il tuo influsso
già sento su di me lieve
come un raggio di luna alla finestra.
—  Rainer Marie Rilke, A Lou Andreas-Salomé

Death on the Vine: Crushing!

Yes there’s plenty of crushes and crushing  - there’s the Hugh/Dot engagement and the stamping of grapes and I think the whole Phrack thing is getting pretty close to a crush…

The scarecrow looms like a spectre over this Ep, warning off outsiders, hiding secrets.  

Death on the Vine has been cited as one of the saddest eps in the 30 Day Challenge and it is indeed tragic in its reach and devastating far beyond Maiden Creek. (I am so behind in posting #MFMM 30 day challenge but I plan to do an epic pitch soon, so you can prepare to disconnect that day or do something more meaningful like defrosting the fridge). 

The beautiful setting belies bitter rivalries and deep-held, misplaced loyalties. Threaded through these prejudices are some magical moments that connect Hugh and Dot, Jack and Hugh and of course Jack and Phryne with some of the loveliest images in the series.

Phryne rarely feels out of her depth but Maiden Creek leaves her needing her partner in solving crime, so she must send for Jack in cryptic code. The telephone rings at City South but Hugh is distracted and needs Jack’s prompting to answer it.  Jack notices that the distraction is his own Collected Works of Shakespeare.


Phryne says she needs Jack’s expertise and in the exchange their need to be close is also bound up in code:

Phryne: I can’t quite put my finger on the real problem.

Jack:  You’re losing your touch Miss Fisher.

Phryne: You know what they say about many hands…

How can Jack resist the voice on the end of the phone? And are these close enough to matching outfits?

Poetry: part 1

He then demands to know why Collins was scrutinising his volume of Shakespeare and Collins’ plan to propose to Dot is revealed  - it is one of those delightful exchanges that shows all of Hugh’s awkwardness and all of Jack’s sensitivity as mentor.

Jack: Oh and Collins, why are you reading my Shakespeare?

Hugh: (faltering) Just in case… I ever need to get my words right sir… for a… a…special occasion like a speech or a …a…an announcement and I think Dot would like me to improve.

Jack: Well if you ever need to make some kind of romantic declaration Collins, you can’t go past Shakespeare. (Hands back volume to Hugh)

So, presumably Jack is speaking from experience here!  And we know how often he has quoted A and C to Phryne!

The response of Phryne and Dot to the arrival of our two intrepid policemen is a treat.  I don’t think I’ve ever observed Phryne so delighted at Jack’s arrival at the scene of a crime. There is none of her feigned brusqueness, no cavalier attitude, no offhand superiority.  Jack’s opening remark is not his usual, formal greeting:

Jack: Are you all right?

Phryne: All the better for seeing you Jack.

Jacksays nothing just the ever so slight nod of his head.  *swoon*

Phryne and Jack are completely as one in interrogation, in questioning.  Their exchanges of looks say it all:

The Hat Incident: part 1

Jack’s hat is shot off in the vineyard but his instinct is to protect Phryne.  Hence that image… (no. 2)

The protective arm around her.  

But what about Erik (the grape crusher) and his gammy left arm?  Doesn’t look too gammy to me in the shot below! Hmmmmm…..And did they or didn’t they as they crushed the grapes? And I haven’t included the image of his taking P’s hand after the hat shooting incident…. *snorts*

Dot, Hugh and the Scarecrow!

Hugh persists with his venture to lure Dot into a romantic setting and this time the scarecrow thwarts his attempts! Dot is as determined to participate in the solving of the crime as Hugh is to propose.  Dot finds the hidden Rilke poem:

Dot: Some kind of poetry…

Hugh: Some kind of love poem…

They are both correct, but Dot fails to see its significance for Hugh.  She calls to him to come with her with the evidence.  It is a lovely, funny scene.

Dot (calls) : Come on Hugh…. Collins

Hugh:  Coming sir…Dot.

Poor Hugh! The obedient lover -  we can see the future here, with Dot asserting and affirming her position in the relationship.  The image (below) as Flora, Oskar’s secret lover wanders off in the other direction is quite poignant.

Poetry: part 2 

The  poem is Liebeslied (love song) by Rainer Marie Rilke. Jack reads it aloud and translates it; he reads a love poem to Phryne, the poem that confused Dot and Hugh:

Phryne: Liebeslied

Jack: Doch alles, was uns verbindet… All that touches us, you and me, binds us together, like the string of a bow that draws one chord and two strings.  That’s Rainer Maria Rilke.

Phryne:  Very impressive Jack.

Jack: I’ll pass that on to my German teacher.

Jack has more success declaring his feelings in poetry than Hugh.  Phryne’s comment could be that she’s impressed with such a declaration rather than his ability to instantly translate so fluently such complex German! Jack defers to someone else.  He finds compliments difficult to accept.  And of course, the complexity of the relationships between the victim’s family, family business and constabulary are also revealed.

And who was Jack’s German teacher - intriguing that he had one!

More code

Hugh and Dot are sent back to Melbourne with evidence that needed urgent attention.  Hugh attempts yet again to arrange a romantic detour but it isn’t to be. Phryne declares that he must take Dot straight home!  Jack sees Hugh’s dilemma.

Jack: (confidentially) Twelfth Night Collins.

Phryne: (intrigued) Some kind of police code?

Jack: just looks, one of those looks *melts*

Crushing defeat

Phryne calls the attention of the locals as she and Jack are lead at gunpoint out of the hotel and towards her car.  As she sounds the horn, Jack is anxious at her actions;

Jack:  Phryne?

Phryne:  It’s all right Jack.

He calls her Phryne!  Yeah!  He must be feeling stirred - it doesn’t happen often… And after the anguish of Valma’s defeat and the reveal of others’ duplicity, the two remain united physically and emotionally.

Poetry: part 3

Hugh must abandon poetry to propose to Dot and speak from the heart.

Dot:  Now that, Hugh Collins, was just perfect.


Has Hugh borrowed Jack’s tie??  See image 3 at the top!

Who couldn’t get a crush from the final scene?

In a parallel room, the courting continues…

This is spectacular - visually, linguistically, emotionally. No wonder it is so often blogged and posted.  It has every element a crazed fandom could possibly want (well except for one). We have a leaning Jack; we have the colour of passion - the red of the “wine” reflected in Jack’s tie and Phryne’s crushed red velvet evening jacket (matching outfits) and even in the floral Margaret Preston (?) on the wall behind them; then the touching.  This is indeed a waltz, slow and close. 

Phryne: Now this is a very special wine … well it’s more like grape juice at this stage but (pours) it’s special none the less … To Maiden Creek!

Jack:  May we never see the likes of her again. (clink glasses)

Jack:  May I ask what’s so special about the wine?

Phryne: I crushed it myself.

Jack: What with?

Phryne: My feet …mainly.

Jack: (swallows hard)  Not a bad drop.

The Hat Incident: part 2

Phryne: And I need to thank you for coming to my rescue.

Jack: Is that what I did?

Once again, he won’t easily accept the compliment.

Phryne:  Eventually … and you paid dearly in the millinery sense… so

Phryne: There … for the next woman who uses you for target practice.

He doesn’t move, just allows her to fit and touch, the hat, then his jacket …


Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any misery, any depression, since after all you don’t know what work these conditions are doing inside you? Why do you want to persecute yourself with the question of where all this is coming from and where it is going? Since you know, after all, that you are in the midst of transitions and you wished for nothing so much as to change. If there is anything unhealthy in your reactions, just bear in mind that sickness is the means by which an organism frees itself from what is alien; so one must simply help it to be sick, to have its whole sickness and to break out with it, since that is the way it gets better.
—  Rainer Marie Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet