8th elegy ︎︎︎
With all its eyes the creature-world beholds
the open. But our eyes, as though reversed,
encircle it on every side, like traps
set round its unobstructed path to freedom.
What is outside, we know from the brute’s face
alone; for while a child’s quite small we take it
and turn it round and force it to look backwards at conformation, not at that openness
so deep within the brute’s face. Free from death.
We only see death; the free animal
has its decease perpetually behind it
and God in front, and when it moves, it moves
into eternity, like running springs.
We’ve never no, not for a single day,
pure space before us, such as that which flowers
endlessly open into: always world,
and never nowhere without no.
(Rainer Maria Wilke, 8th Elegy, The Duino Elegies)