The Dwarf’s Song by Rainer Maria Rilke
My soul may be straight and plane,
But my heart, my contorted veins,
All else that is giving me pain
My soul can’t uphold these things.
It has no garden or bed it owns,
It hangs on my jagged crate of bones
With a horrified beating of wings.
Nor will my hands ever get me far.
Just look how stunted they are.
They heave and twitch, dankly bizarre,
Like small toads, rain-slick and plump.
Nor’s the rest of me in better state,
All threadbare and sad and third-rate;
Why does the good Lord hesitate
To toss it on the dump?
Is he angry with me because of the sight
Of my face with its scowl?
It wanted so often to turn all bright
And clear right down to the soul,
Yet nothing ever came close, skin-tight,
But the big dogs, who growl;
And the dogs don’t have it right.