Be ahead of all parting

Sei allem Abschied voran, als wäre er hinter
dir, wie der Winter, der eben geht.
Denn unter Wintern ist einer so endlos Winter,
Daß, überwinternd, dein Herz überhaupt übersteht.

*

Be ahead of all parting, as though it already were
behind you, like the winter that has just gone by.
For among these winters there is one so endlessly winter
that only by wintering through it will your heart survive.

— Rilke, from The Sonnets to Orpheus, II, 13 (tr. S. Mitchell)

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