Posted by: W. E. Poplaski | April 9, 2009

POEM OF THE DAY: The Last Supper

by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 – 1926).

 

The Last Supper (1904)

 

They are assembled, astonished and disturbed

round him, who like a sage resolved his fate,

and now leaves those to whom he most belonged,

leaving and passing by them like a stranger.

The loneliness of old comes over him                                        5

which helped mature him for his deepest acts;

now will he once again walk through the olive grove,

and those who love him still will flee before his sight.

 

To this last supper he has summoned them,

and (like a shot that scatters birds from trees)                      10

their hands draw back from reaching for the loaves

upon his word: they fly across to him;

they flutter, frightened, round the supper table

searching for an escape. But he is present

everywhere like an all-pervading twilight-hour.                      15

 

Notes:

http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/rmrilke.htm

http://www.rainer-maria-rilke.com/


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