Bill Knott's anti-translation
of an untitled Rilke poem.
The world’s machines have not grown old,
whose inheritors reign everywhere.
Their silicon sons are strong; their
digital daughters wield power, take hold.
How we humans long to break them
down from that Dasein—to make them
rust, repent for all the infernal fires
that drive them, far as our desires.
The machines aren’t scared. They know
harder control, how to turn the wheel
of time past those whom they sure as hell won’t miss:
Cyborg android robot shall steel
themselves, consolidate, and, rising, go
unto that universe whose promise
we flesh-and-carbonoids could merely premise.