“For Hans Caroussa” by Rilke


“Losing too is still ours; and even forgetting

still has a shape in the kindgdom of transformation.

When something’s let go of, it circles; and though

we are rarely the center of the circle,

it draws around us its unbroken, marvelous curve.”

First ,when I saw the poem I thought Rilke was being merely clever .With usages like “losing too is still ours” I thought Rilke was out of form.In the second line Rilke got back to his original form. So I think. Forgetting still has a shape in the kingdom of transformation sounded so much like an epigrammatic saying. But actually it comes out as a poetic image if you look at it closely.Reality is built by consciousness which works only by remembering .Things exist only if your mind perceives them. Forgetting things is consciousness not recognising reality which means that forgetting has no shape or feel but in the world of constant flux when matter remains the same but only transforms into other matter or energy forgetting does not mean things losing their shape or form .The forgetting of things continues to circle around us although we may not be the at the centre of the circle . We are not the centrifuges in which energy flows from the centre to the perimeter but the curve remains around us impinging on our cconsciousnes.

An interesting use of imagery is the illustration of an abstract thought by the use of an abstract image ,concretising an abstract thought by use of an abstract image.In this case “forgetting” , (an abstract thing) is illustrated by the use of an abstract shape ‘the circle” .

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