Mount Fuji

Thirty-six times and a hundred times
the artist portrayed the mountain.
Now pulled away, now compelled
(thirty-six times and a hundred times)

to return with glad impatience
to that ungraspable one.
To see it rise there, bold in outline,
withholding nothing of its majesty.

Out of each day emerging over and over,
letting the unrepeatable nights
fall away as though too small.
Each glimpse exhausted in an instant,

form ascending into form,
far off, impassive, wordless —
then suddenly the revelation
of an awareness lifting in the sky.

— Rilke, New Poems

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