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Puisque tout passe (1951) Op. 27 no.1

Part of a series or song cycle:

Mélodies passagères (Op. 27)

Puisque tout passe

Puisque tout passe, faisons
la mélodie passagère;
celle qui nous désaltère
aura de nous raison.
Chantons ce qui nous quitte
avec amour et art;
soyons plus vite
que le rapide départ.

Since all things flit by

Since all things flit by,
let’s create a fleeting melody;
the one that slakes our thirst
shall be the one to win us.
Let us sing what leaves us
with love and art;
let us be swifter
than a swift departure.
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke (4 December 1875 – 29 December 1926), better known as Rainer Maria Rilke, was a Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist. He is "widely recognized as one of the most lyrically intense German-language poets".He wrote both verse and highly lyrical prose. Several critics have described Rilke's work as inherently "mystical". His writings include one novel, several collections of poetry and several volumes of correspondence in which he invokes haunting images that focus on the difficulty of communion with the ineffable in an age of disbelief, solitude and profound anxiety. These deeply existential themes tend to position him as a transitional figure between the traditional and the modernist writers.

Taken from Wikipedia. Read more here.

Read some of Rilke's work here, on Poetry Foundation.

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