Girls at the piano -300px-Auguste_Renoir_-_Young_Girls_at_the_Piano_-_Google_Art_Project

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1892
Oil on canvas, 116 cm x 90 cm (46 in x 35 in)
Musée d’Orsay, Paris


Piano Practice
by Rainer Maria Rilke

The summer hums. The afternoon fatigues;
she breathed her crisp white dress distractedly
and put into it that sharply etched etude
her impatience for a reality

that could come: tomorrow, this evening–,
that perhaps was there, was just kept hidden;
and at the window, tall and having everything,
she suddenly could feel the pampered park.

With that she broke off; gazed outside, locked
her hands together; wished for a long book…



Lady on a Balcony
by Rainer Maria Rilke

Suddenly she steps, wrapped into the wind,
brightly into brightness, as if singled out,
while now the room as though cut to fit
behind her fills the door

darkly like the ground of cameo,
that lets a glimmer through at the edges;
and you think the evening wasn’t there
before she stepped out, and on the railing

set forth just a little of herself,
just her hands, –to be completely light:
as if passed on by the rows of houses
to the heavens, to be swayed by everything.



(I came across these poems some time ago; they’ve been sitting in my draft folder for months, so here they are finally. I love the above painting. I saw it at theMusée d’Orsay, Paris, many years ago, and bought an 8 x 11  print of it there, which I still own.)