Google Translating Rilke

Google, Frauenfarn, and Systran Translating Rilke

Rilke is a mostly impenetrable poet whose craft hints at great things, only briefly glimpsed through a language barrier and the inherent nature of the mystic. I’ve written many times on him, this is one page. (internal link)

How would Google do with Rilke? This poem is from the Book of Hours, see the original German below. I’m not sure the tile is correct, that being My Life is Not This Vertical Hour.

Google Translate

My Life is Not this Steep Hour

My life is not this steep hour
in which you see me rushing
I am a tree against my background
I am just one of my many mouths
and the one that closes the earliest.

I am the calm between two tones
who don’t get used to each other well:
because the tone of death wants to rise

But reconcile in the dark interval
both trembling.

And the song stays beautiful.

My Life Is not This Vertical Hour

Here, we have an apparently native German speaker attempting to translate.

Translated and sung by Frauenfarn

My life is not this vertical hour
in which you find me in such haste.
I am a tree in front of my own background,
I am only but one of my many mouths,
and the one which is the first to close.

I am the silence between two sounds
that only with difficulty grow used to one another:
for the tone of Death also wishes to be heard—

But in the darkness of the interval
they make peace with one another, trembling.

And the song remains beautiful.

This is what Frauenfan translated from:

Mein Leben ist nicht diese steile Stunde

Mein Leben ist nicht diese steile Stunde,
darin du mich so eilen siehst.
Ich bin ein Baum vor meinem Hintergrunde,
ich bin nur einer meiner vielen Munde
und jener, welcher sich am frühsten schließt.

Ich bin die Ruhe zwischen zweien Tönen,
die sich nur schlecht aneinander gewöhnen:
denn der Ton Tod will sich erhöhn—

Aber im dunklen Intervall versöhnen
sich beide zitternd.

Und das Lied bleibt schön.

aus: Das Stundenbuch

And How Would Another Machine Do?

This is from Systran:, which seems fairly coherent compared to the three or four website translation services I tried:

My Life is not This Steep hour

My life is not that steep hour in which you see me so rushing.

I’m a tree in my background, I’m just one of my many mouths and the one that closes at the earliest.

I’m the calm between two sounds that are not very well accustomed to each other: The sound of death wants to increase— but in the dark interval, both of them are reconciled trembling. And the song remains beautiful.

My Note

I can’t find the translation now, but I remember a printed book that ended the poem like this, better, I think, than using the word beautiful.

“And the song stays sweet.”

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That’s All That I Remember

Incident by Countee Cullen (1903 – 1946)

Once riding in old Baltimore,
Heart-filled, head-filled with glee,
I saw a Baltimorean
Keep looking straight at me.

Now I was eight and very small,
And he was no whit bigger,
And so I smiled, but he poked out
His tongue, and called me, “Nigger.”

I saw the whole of Baltimore
From May until December;
Of all the things that happened there
That’s all that I remember.

Maxwell Nürnberg writing in A Gathering of Poems relates, “When the editor of this collection was the poetry club advisor at De Witt Clinton High School in New York City, in 1922, a young member of the club wrote a poem on the blackboard. His name was Countee Cullen and the poem was ‘Incident.'”

More: (external link)

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Mother to Son

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Mother to Son by Langston Hughes

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor —
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now —
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

More: (external link)

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One Girl by Sappho

One Girl by Sappho, translated by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Christina Rossetti’s (internal link) brother translates a lyric from,”The Isles of Greece! Where burning Sappho loved and sung.”

One Girl

Like the sweet apple which reddens upon the topmost bough,
Atop on the topmost twig, — which the pluckers forgot, somehow, —
Forget it not, nay; but got it not, for none could get it till now.

Like the wild hyacinth flower which on the hills is found,
Which the passing feet of the shepherds for ever tear and wound,
Until the purple blossom is trodden in the ground.

Read by Ghizela Rowe:

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Caliban in the Coal Mines

Caliban in the Coal Mines

By Louis Untermeyer 1885- 1877

God, we don’t like to complain—
We know that the mine is no lark—
But—there’s the pools from the rain;
But—there’s the cold and the dark.

God, You don’t know what it is—
You, in Your well-lighted sky,
Watching the meteors whizz;
Warm, with the sun always by.

God, if You had but the moon
Stuck in Your cap for a lamp,
Even You’d tire of it soon,
Down in the dark and the damp.

Nothing but blackness above,
And nothing that moves but the cars—
God, if You wish for our love,
Fling us a handful of stars!

Transformed into song by Julie Bennett Hume

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Christina Rossetti’s “Uphill”

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Christina Rossetti’s “Uphill”

Christina Rossetti was a brilliant and strongly Christian poet. If this poem is too religious for you, check my previous post on Rosetti’s “Remember,” (internal link) hauntingly delivered by the Irish Mairin O’Hagan. In this video, the speaker is not named.

Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.
Will the day’s journey take the whole long day?
From morn to night, my friend.

But is there for the night a resting-place?
A roof for when the slow dark hours begin.
May not the darkness hide it from my face?
You cannot miss that inn.

Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
Those who have gone before.
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
They will not keep you standing at that door.

Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?
Of labour you shall find the sum.
Will there be beds for me and all who seek?
Yea, beds for all who come. (external link)

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Present Work Overview

Writing site here:

Rockhounding site here:

Present Work Overview

I could have polished this but it is 1:15 in the morning and right now there is only real life and real work.


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Content Mills

I’m seeking additional writing or editing work and have again run into the content mills.

I’m using as a job board which seems reasonable considering their size, however, they, too, list employers who offer as little as one cent a word and those with completely insane expectations.

I’ve written on what else you should be doing if offered an insulting penny a word (internal link). That employer says a person can make up to $35.00 an hour but then you find out that all beginning writers start off at $7.50 for a 750 to 1,000 word article. I doubt anyone has ever seen $35.00 an hour. A complete con game.

Another employer offers a “non-negotiable” $25.00 for every 1,000 word article written. Well, I’ve done that with, although they paid $35.00 when you supplied your own photographs. You could pick the topics you wanted to write on, all of which were about everyday consumer items.

The employer I just mentioned, however, goes right into fantasy land with their requirements and expectations. They strongly prefer a writer with a JD degree for their legal content creation company. It’s their first question, “Do you have a JD?” That’s right, they want someone with a law degree to work for $25.00 an article.

Now, that might not seem too bad if it takes you an hour to write a thousand words. But no one can do that unless they are a practicing paralegal or a lawyer in the state that the topic is about and working in the field of law that the topic centers on.

Only a practicing professional in Montana working in, say, elder law, could dust off an accurate 1,000 words on that subject in one hour.

The company I work for generates content for law firms across the United States and Canada. A 750 word blog post for our writers takes between two hours and seven hours. (Two hours is exceptional.) It all depends on the writer but mostly on the research involved. They are expected to write on almost any legal topic for any state, putting the law into plain language for a client’s customers to read.

We supply at least two references or leads for the writer to begin work and they usually develop several more on their own. I do any revising and editing. We do not kick back work to a writer, it ends with me. They do not have to lose money if their work needs rewriting.

More likely this employer is paying less than ten dollars an hour for someone with a JD. This company is big and they should know better but I know better, too. I’ve been writing and revising and editing this kind of content for five years. It takes research and time and multiple drafts by our writers to produce clear, accurate, quality writing. The content mills know this, they just don’t want to pay for it.

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Walking in the Mojave Desert

This post from my rockhounding site here: (external link)

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No quartz despite what I said in the video. False hopes and poorly correcting sunglasses. All lode claims were located by Paul J Flannery in 1981 in Inyo County. They were the 'YELLOW DAISY', the 'VALENTINE', the 'SUNRISE' and the 'SUNSET. Closed in 183, possibly due to no luck or the move of the Resting Springs Range into Wilderness status. I thought this was the North Nopah WA but was mistaken. Haven't determined what they were looking for, I am going to look at my reference samples tonight to see if I can figure this out.'s overview of these rocks says, Name: Cambrian marine rocks Age: Neoproterozoic – Middle Devonian (1000 – 382.7Ma) Stratigraphic name(s): Bonanza King Formation; Bright Angel Shale; Cadiz Formation; Campito Formation; Carrara Formation; Chambless Limestone; Cornfield Springs Formation; Goodsprings Dolomite; Harkless Formation; Latham Shale; Lead Gulch Formation; Lotus Formation; Monola… Lithology: Major:{sandstone,dolostone}, Minor:{mudstone,limestone,quartzite}, Incidental:{conglomerate, siltstone, chert} Description: Sandstone, shale, limestone, dolomite, chert, quartzite, and phyllite; includes some rocks that are possibly Precambrian I'd have to look at the USGS geologic map for this area to get a clue as to minerals. Minerals not always listed or very lightly treated. This is not the end of the road as I was to find.#geology #geologyrocks#inyocounty#mining#explore#getoutdoors#mojavedesert#restingspringsrange #rocks#mineralspecimens

A post shared by Tom Farley (@tgfarley) on

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More Kipling

“Tommy” by Rudyard Kipling (read by Tom O’Bedlam)

My rockhounding site: (external link)
My writing website: (external link)

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