Black Cat by Rainer Maria Rilke

For Halloween and in the spirit of the novel I’m currently writing,  here is a poem I admire by Rilke.  It’s called BLACK CAT.  The line that reverberates in my imagination is:  ‘She seems to hide any looks that have ever fallen into her.’

BLACK CAT

A ghost, though invisible, still is like a place
your sight can knock on, echoing; but here
within this thick black pelt, your strongest gaze
will be absorbed and utterly disappear:

just as a raving madman, when nothing else
can ease him, charges into his dark night
howling, pounds on the padded wall, and feels
the rage being taken in and pacified.

She seems to hide all looks that have ever fallen
into her, so that, like an audience,
she can look them over, menacing and sullen,
and curl to sleep with them. But all at once

as if awakened, she turns her face to yours;
and with a shock, you see yourself, tiny,
inside the golden amber of her eyeballs
suspended, like a prehistoric fly.

Rainer Maria Rilke

“All of us can see ourselves in Leveille’s characters. These are stories that speak to the complicated bonds we have with siblings and parents, who they were and who they are now and how we learn the truth of what we took for granted before.” The Daily Gleanor

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