Friday, 16 September 2011

Black Cat by Rainer Maria Rilke

A brilliantly layered little poem by somebody that I'd previously not heard of, Rainer Maria Rilke. (Google Image him. Seriously). I especially love the last two lines. Partly because the image of the black cat's eyes staring into your soul, sucking it in, is so powerful; partly because it reminds me of Jurassic Park.

Black Cat

A ghost, though invisible, still is like a place
your sight can knock on, echoing; but here
within this thick black pelt, your strongest gaze
will be absorbed and utterly disappear:

just as a raving madman, when nothing else
can ease him, charges into his dark night
howling, pounds on the padded wall, and feels
the rage being taken in and pacified.

She seems to hide all looks that have ever fallen
into her, so that, like an audience,
she can look them over, menacing and sullen,
and curl to sleep with them. But all at once

as if awakened, she turns her face to yours;
and with a shock, you see yourself, tiny,
inside the golden amber of her eyeballs
suspended, like a prehistoric fly.

Rainer Maria Rilke

1 comment:

  1. I once wrote something about this poem -- you may be interested:
    -- Cip