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Edward Kennedy (1932 – 2009)


The Swan

by Rainer Maria Rilke

This clumsy living that moves lumbering
as if in ropes through what is not done,
reminds us of the awkward way the swan walks.
And to die, which is the letting go
of the ground we stand on
and cling to every day,
is like the swan,
when he nervously lets himself down into the water,
which receives him gaily
and which flows joyfully under
and after him, wave after wave,
while the swan,
unmoving and marvelously calm,
is pleased to be carried,
each moment more fully grown,
more like a king, further and further on.

translated by Robert Bly

Published in culture poetry politics tribes


  1. Brought me to tears, Cliff. Poetry is for moments or extreme emotion. Ted Kennedy was, indeed, an ugly duckling grown into a swan, now carried on the water.

  2. Lynne Leaf Lynne Leaf

    Beautiful tribute to the last brother … said through the words of Rilke, my favorite poet. Thank you.

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