A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Friday, 21 February 2014

O Fig Tree

O fig tree, how long I've pondered you —
the way you almost skip flowering completely
and release, unheralded, your pure secret
into the sprigs of fruit already poised to ripen.
Like a fountain's pipe, your bent boughs drive the sap
downward and up: and it leaps from sleep, almost
without waking, into the joy of its sweetest achievement.
Look: like the god into the swan.
                                                        . . . . . . But we, for our part, linger,
ah, flowering flatters us; the belated inner place
that is our culminating fruit we enter spent, betrayed.

RILKE Duino Elegies: The Sixth Elegy (Translated by EDWARD SNOW)

(Thanks to Wikimedia Commons for the pictures)

1 comment:

Goat said...

Figs are one of my favourite genera. The edible ones could often be seen reaching over old laneway walls in the backstreets of Sydney's Greek and Italian inner suburbs. Must try to grow one some day.

In my home strip of eastern Australia, the Moreton Bay fig, a rainforest giant, grows to truly monumental proportions. Common street tree and in parks and along foreshores. Inedible fruit except for birds, though I have read that Aborigines prepared them somehow.