DEPTFORD QUATRAINS Rilke: From a Painter’s Perspective

ON READING ELEGIES ONE TO FOUR

The Duino Elegies form a distinct and created world as separate and unique as a Wagner soundscape. A creation of radiant light and primeval darkness in the dense world of matter. Inhabited with a strange assortment; lovers, puppets, dancers and angels. Angels whose existence is questioned but who seem very real for all that. The most mundane objects – steaming dishes, wardrobes, trees – suddenly bring you to earth within a whirling maelstrom of ideas. These things also act as anchors between the inner life and the unknown and unseen. Our place in the universe is questioned and our relationship to the things and emotions within it. What is love? What happens when we fall in love? Something is triggered, the unconscious forces from those primeval, impersonal depths which drive us and put us in touch with a world beyond space and time. It is not a colourful world though it is fraught with feelings of love, betrayal, hate and anger.

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