Was I under a rock?

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How did I miss Rilke's poetry all these years?

What have you discovered that made you think, "where have I been??"

-- Anonymous, February 21, 2001


First of all, Melissa, big fat whopping yay for Rilke. Sometimes I read him and I literally have to curl up in a ball because it's like he is seeing inside my soul. If you're a person (hi forum!) who wants to gag when you read that statement, then maybe you're just not a Rilke person. "Never think destiny's more than the substrate of childhood: how often you'd catch up with a lover, panting, panting, from the happy chase, into the open forever."

Okay, parties to which I came frighteningly late include the following:

1.) Buffy. (Didn't start watching until the end of Season 3. Am now catching up by blowing wads of money on box sets of old episodes.)

2.) Jeff Buckley. (The poor dear was dead before I heard the first note.)

3.) Roman Holiday. (Just saw it for the first time this year. My God!)

4.) I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. (First published in the 1940s. I didn't read it until 2000. This shocks and saddens me.)

5.) Freaks & Geeks. (Only watched two episodes during the original run and feel neurotically responsible for its cancellation.)

Those are just a few that come to mind.

-- Anonymous, February 21, 2001

Just curious - what steered you to Rilke, and which translation(s) are you reading? I was lucky - I was reading a Helen McInnes thriller in junior high which quoted "Autumn"... but I didn't discover the Duino Elegies until my mid-twenties. There's nothing wrong with C. Scott-Giles' versions, but Stephen Mitchell is amazing. (And his own stuff is _funny_, too, specifically _Meetings with the Archangel_)

To answer the question, though, I hadn't read E.L. Konigsburg until I was 27 or 28. Still haven't read _A Proud Taste..._ but I loved _A View from Saturday_ and _The Second Mrs. Gioconda_ and _My Father's Arcane Daughter_. Though, come to think of it, I'm not sure "where have I been" really applies in this case, because I think age 27-29 may have been exactly the right time for me to read those books. They resonate differently than they would have had I read them when I was in the target age group.

And I *do* live under a rock where pop culture is concerned (not because I'm a snob, but because I simply can't keep up), and I'm not letting Harry Potter or The Wheel of Time series into my cave until the series are completed. (It's bad enough salivating for the next Elizabeth Peters and Stephanie Laurens and Janet Evanovich, I don't need any more suspense in my life. )

-- Anonymous, February 21, 2001

1. Cranium. Thanks to the endless references made by Melissa, Colleen, Kate, and Corina, I too have jumped on the Cranium bandwagon. That game is like CRACK, i tell you!

2. Squishy. Can't think of a better way to kill time when I feel the urge to procrastinate...except for maybe:

3. 3WA. So. Much. Fun.

4. Coldplay. Okay, so I heard that "Yellow" song a few months back when ABC used it for their ad campaign. I thought, "what a cool song!". Now all of a sudden, I see them on Conan, and I'm smitten. Sigh.

5. Ponette. I get choked up just thinking about this movie

6. Waiting for Guffman. I know I'm kinda late with this one, but it's honestly one of the funniest damn movies ever. Christoper Guest is my boyfriend... I am forever indebted to him for incorporating the phrases "you are BASTARD people" and "I hate you and I hate your ass face!" into my vocabulary with frightening regularity. I need this movie ASAP.

Okay, so I'm a pop culture fiend. I do read though. Really:)

-- Anonymous, February 22, 2001

I definitely came late to the childrens books wagon. I almost missed the boat on the harry potter books but luckily I wised up.

I mean, I read ALL the time when I was younger but I missed so many good books and I have no idea how. How did I miss the Narnia books? I've still got to read the Anne of Green Gables books. I think I was too busy reading Judy Blume.

Anyway, I'm glad I'm a kid at heart and that I can read them and enjoy them now.


-- Anonymous, February 22, 2001

I am uncertain how I found Rilke initially...someone must have quoted him in a journal. I went searching yesterday for poems on the 'net and have fallen head over heels. I mean, how can you not when he writes things like:

Moving Forward

The deep parts of my life pour onward, as if the river shores were opening out. It seems that things are more like me now, That I can see farther into paintings. I feel closer to what language can't reach. With my senses, as with birds, I climb into the windy heaven, out of the oak, in the ponds broken off from the sky my falling sinks, as if standing on fishes.

Translated by Robert Bly

I haven't gotten any of the books yet but I am hungering for them, and have beefed up my amazon.com wish list so I remember to buy them. How did I ever remember to buy anything before they made that wish list software?

I also came late to:

Buffy. I hear ya, Dora. I was introduced to Buffy by Michael at the beginning of season three, and have been kicking myself (and buying tapes) ever since.

Cynthia Voigt. Where the hell was I when everyone was reading the Tillerman books??

Audrey Hepburn. (Why yes, Dora and I are the same person.)

Chex. What was I thinking, eating all those Froot Loops?

The Secret Garden. The musical, not the book (although I love the book). When my friends were listening to it when it first came out, I scoffed. A musical made out of a children's book? That must suck. When I fell in love with it years later, I kicked myself six ways to Sunday for missing Mandy Patinkin as Archie.

-- Anonymous, February 22, 2001

Melissa, word on The Secret Garden -- I didn't even know this existed until the summer of '96 when my dear new friend played the soundtrack for me and I listened to the whole thing the whole way through in one sitting and just bawled. When we left that summer, he wrote in my journal, "Dora has Lily's Eyes." And I bawled some more.

-- Anonymous, February 22, 2001

I discovered Rilke in my early 20's - my "marlboro man" introduced me to the poet. Granted, Mr. "Marlboro Man" could have recommended just about anything and I would have thought it wonderful, but Rilke withstood the test of time. His poems are amazing. "Letters to a Young Poet" - OH MY GOD. I reread it several times a year. There is even a collection of letters between Rilke and his love Merline.

I do love me some Rilke.

Colleen - I understand the late bandwagon thing in children's books. Just recently finished the Harry Potter books and the Anne of Green Gable books are next...

I refuse to get on the Buffy bandwagon. A woman's got to have standards somewhere...

-- Anonymous, March 06, 2001

" and this rock u have been crawling under, is lifted up from your shoulders.." - Dream Theatre.....

I discovered Rilke in a bookshop..and there and then i read half of the entire book of Stephen Mitchell..now i can read them at liesure through the net...Rilke is amazing .... i definitely agree with u man..he sees into ones soul...all great artists can peer into the collective soul of humanity and gather wat not from its depths... Letters to a young poet is definitely the book for any aspiring artist, seeker , human being..... It is never too late to discover great works of art..at least u have fopund it , some people are blind all of their lives...after reading "Letters...." ,all i can think is hopw can someone not read Rilke and therefore not touch the beginnings of the journey intoo the depth of life... and as Rilke himself as said..patience is everything..just like how spring waits for summer...so to each experience happens only at rthe right season of opnes life..this is your season..rejoice in its richness.....

-- Anonymous, April 11, 2001

I realize this thread is winding down, but I wanted to mention that my choir just started rehearsing a gorgeous arrangement of Rilke's "Dirait-on" - part of a five-song cycle. Can't remember the name of the composer at the moment, but it's on CD by the Los Angeles Chamber Choir, and it's GORGEOUS. Very beautifully Rilkean (as in, the composer definitely kept the words in mind and tried to serve them rather than just using Rilke as a springboard for their own weird (un)harmonic agenda, which I find to be the case with some contemporary arrangers). (Apparently it's one of the most-often- performed pieces in the choral repertoire these days, but I've been out of the loop, so last night was the first time I heard/sang the piece.)

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2001

Ooooh, the chorus Rilke sounds so cool!!

Athena, you need to watch Buffy. It's never too late. I don't understand how anyone can NOT be watching Buffy. You are too cool to not watch Buffy.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2001

I can't seem to convert my boyfriend to the wonder of Buffy. I guess it's a character flaw I can live with, but it's still distressing. Consider yourself warned, though, that a Buffy addiction can lead to a distressing addiction to other, not nearly as good, WB shows. Although maybe that's less of an issue now that they're moving to UPN.

-- Anonymous, April 24, 2001

Not an answer really but a plea for help! I am looking for the French text to Dirait On, and cannot find it anywhere. Any suggestions on where to look? I have the English translation, but I want French.

PS- The composer is Morten Lauridsen, and Dirait on is actually only a segment of the song. The whole thing is Les Chansons Des Roses.

Thanks!!! Kate

-- Anonymous, October 03, 2001

Here's the french for "Dirait-on"...such an amazing piece. I'm a professional singer and I sing it at weddings a lot...

Abandon entouré d'abandon, tendresse touchant aux tendresses... C'est ton intérieur qui sans cesse se caresse, dirait-on;

se caresse en soi-même, par son propre reflet éclairé. Ainsi tu inventes le thème du Narcisse exaucé.

-- Anonymous, March 01, 2002

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