Lady on the Balcony

Suddenly she appears, wrapped in wind,
light in light, an outline,
while the background of the room
fills the door behind her

like the darkness of a silhouette,
a shimmer about the edge;
and you think evening is gone
before she arrived to touch the rail,

just a thread of herself,
just her hand, hardly there at all:
like a line of houses in the sky,
sufficient, moved by all.

tr. by Remy Wilkins

A translation by the premiere translator of Rilke, Edward Snow, can be found here.

My other Rilke translations can be found here.

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