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Reply To: Tossing the Golden Ball,” with mythologist Catherine Svehla, Ph.D.”


Thank you  for the source and elaboration of this beautiful piece from Rilke. I have a copy of Letters to a Young Poet and I located it in that text, Dover publication translated by Reginald Snell. I’m posting it given our mutual interest in translations!

“How could we forget those old myths which are to be found in the beginnings of every people; the myths of the dragons which are transformed, at the last moment, into princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our life are princesses, who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrifying is at bottom the helplessness that seeks our help.

So you must not be frightened, dear Herr Kappus, when a sorrow rises up before you, greater than you have ever seen before; when a restlessness like light and cloud shadows passes over your hands and over all your doing. You must think that something is happening upon you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand; it will not let you fall.”

Personally, I think Perlman states the essence cleanly:).

warmly, Catherine