Here is one of my favorite poems by Rainer Maria Rilke. Since I could not find an English translation, I’ve attempted my own. The poem was published in 1898 and has no title (it goes by its first line “Die Nacht holt heimlich durch des Vorhangs Falten”). You can find more details about it here. In my translation, I’ve attempted to preserve the special kind of cadence that is characteristic of many Rilke poems, including this one.
Etymology — the study of the origin of words and their meaning — can provide us with interesting insights into the relationships between concepts in a particular language space. The German language is a rich etymological hunting ground as it tends to build up even complex words from simple stems and modifiers which are often interconnected. Here, I reflect on the words Gefährte (companion) and Lebensentwurf (life-draft) from an etymological perspective.