Child In Red

Sometimes she walks through the village in her
little red dress
all absorbed in restraining herself,
and yet, despite herself, she seems to move
according to the rhythm of her life to come.

She runs a bit, hesitates, stops,
half-turns around...
and, all while dreaming, shakes her head
for or against.

Then she dances a few steps
that she invents and forgets,
no doubt finding out that life
moves on too fast.

It's not so much that she steps out
of the small body enclosing her,
but that all she carries in herself
frolics and ferments.

It's this dress that she'll remember
later in a sweet surrender;
when her whole life is full of risks,
the little red dress will always seem right.

by Rainer Maria Rilke

Other poems of RILKE (126)

Comments (9)

The little girl will remember her red dress even though her life is full of risk.
Does anyone know in what volume this poem appeared?
seems to move according to rhythm of her life Perfect portrayal in verse. Thanks for sharing it here.
J. B. Leishman was able to make Rilke's work available to modern English readers back in 1930; many translators make Rilke's wonderful language stodgy. As Gary Liles pointed out below, this sounds as if it were written yesterday - a high tribute to J. B. Leishman.
there's something about red
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