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The Neighbor

Rainer Maria Rilke 1875 (Prague) – 1926 (Montreux)



Strange violin, why do you follow me?
In how many foreign cities did you
speak of your lonely nights and those of mine.
Are you being played by hundreds? Or by one?

Do in all great cities men exist
who tormented and in deep despair
would have sought the river but for you?
And why does your playing always reach me?

Why is it that I am always neighbor
to those lost ones who are forced to sing
and to say: Life is infinitely heavier
than the heaviness of all things.

Translated by Albert Ernest Flemming

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

29 sec read
248

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABXX XXBA CDCX D
Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 499
Words 98
Stanzas 4
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 1

Rainer Maria Rilke

René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke — better known as Rainer Maria Rilke — was a Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist, "widely recognized as one of the most lyrically intense German-language poets", writing in both verse and highly lyrical prose. more…

All Rainer Maria Rilke poems | Rainer Maria Rilke Books

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    "The Neighbor" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 27 Jan. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/29723/the-neighbor>.

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