Nocturne

Morning sluggishness is a given, especially after hours spent hovering over a paper. Being a procrastinator and an owl can get me in tight corners and lose me sleep, but if there’s anything I love about this unfortunate tendency, it’s the comfort of the night when I produce the most work.

Except it’s an odd comfort. The comfort of isolation, of solitude, of overthinking (although with this one it’s a love-and-hate). Of all things one might tuck away during the day to be a more sociable and cheery self. As of two years ago I can only read for myself during the night, or it doesn’t feel the same.

Yesterday’s was a revisit to Rilke.


People at Night
Rainer Maria Rilke

THE NIGHTS were not made for crowds, and they sever
You from your neighbour, and you shall never
Seek him, defiantly, at night.
But if you make your dark house light,
To look on strangers in your room,
You must reflect—on whom.

False lights that on men’s faces play
Distort them gruesomely.
You look upon a disarray,
A world that seems to reel and sway,
A waving, glittering sea.

On foreheads gleams a yellow shine,
Where thoughts are chased away,
Their glances flicker mad from wine,
And to the words they say
Strange heavy gestures make reply
That struggle in the buzzing room;
And they say always “I” and “I,”
And mean—they know not whom.

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One Comment

  1. This is weird because I was actually JUST thinking the exact same thing. (And why I saved my paper for tonight)! The poem is really great.

    Reply

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