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Birds of the Soul

The Second Elegy
Every angel is terrifying. And yet, alas, I invoke you, 

almost deadly birds of the soul, knowing about you.
Where are the days of Tobias, when one of you, veiling his radiance, 

stood at the front door, slightly disguised for the journey, no longer appalling;

(a young man like the one who curiously peeked through the window).
But if the archangel now, perilous, from behind the stars took even one step down toward us:

our own heart, beating higher and higher, would beat us to death.
Who are you?

The Duino Elegies, second elegy, Rainer Maria Rielke

Photos by Noga Harel

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