From seeing the bars, his seeing is so exhausted
That it no longer holds anything anymore.
To him the world is bars, a hundred thousand
bars, and behind the bars, nothing.
The lithe swinging of that rhythmical easy stride
Which circles down to the tiniest hub
Is like a dance of energy around a point
In which a great will stands stunned and numb.
Only at times the curtains of the pupil rise
Without a sound . . . then a shape enters,
Slips through the tightened silence of the shoulders,
Reaches the heart, and dies.
Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926)