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A boys’ answer to #metoo


Yes, #metoo has exposed some ugly abuses of male power and male impunity. But most men are not like that. And there is nothing wrong with boys.

I won’t waste any words of my own. These young men sing the point quite beautifully.

In French:

Abandon entouré d’abandon, tendresse touchant aux tendresses…
C’est ton intérieur qui sans cesse se caresse, dirait-on;
se caresse en soi-même, par son propre reflet éclairé.
Ainsi tu inventes le thème du Narcisse exaucé.

I cannot find either a literal or poetic translation of the French that I like very much. So I will have a go at a poetic translation of my own:

Wildness surrounded by wildness, tenderness touching tendernesses …
It is your own self that ceaselessly caresses you, one might say;
Caressed inside yourself, lit by your own reflection.
Thus you find the answer to the prayers of Narcissus.
One might say, one might say, one might say …

The poem is by the Czech poet Rainer Maria Rilke, 1875-1926. The poem ostensibly is about a rose. But like most poems about roses, I don’t think it’s about roses at all.


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