Contre Qui Rose

I recently came upon quite a few gorgeous roses and couldn't resist photographing them. It reminded me of one of my favorite poems, Contre Qui Rose, which has been on my mind a lot lately, by Rainer Maria Rilke. (This text is set beautifully by Morten Lauridsen in his song cycle, "Les Chansons des Roses"). It reminds me of the vulnerability of my heart, which longs to be loved but can wound those closest to me because of all of the walls I put up as a defense.

Contre Qui, Rose, avez-vous adopté ces épines? Votre joie trop fine vous a-t-elle forcée de devenir cette chose armée? Mais de qui vous protège cette arme exagérée? Combien d’ennemis vous ai-je enlevés qui ne la craignaient point? Au contraire, d’été en automne, vous blessez les soins qu’on vous donne.


(English Translation)

Against whom rose, have you assumed these thorns? Is it your too fragile joy that forced you to become this armed thing?

But from whom does it protect you, this exaggerated defence? How many enemies have I lifted from you who did not fear it at all. On the contrary, from summer to autumn you wound the affection that is given you.