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Tributes & MessagesMichael Ayton

I didn’t know Julia well; but like many another I won’t forget her joy in living, her exuberance, her sheer, wonderful, extravagance of human warmth.

Was it perhaps not accidental that my eye was caught, last week, by a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke that I hadn’t seen before? It’s called Odette R …, but I hope my version, below, can have another title:

Julia D …

Tears – the deepest – they rise!

When a life has fully risen
and out of clouds of its own heart-sorrow
falls again – we call this rain death.

But more vivid, to us now deprived
will then be the dark,
more precious, to us now enriched, the curious
kingdom of Earth.

Michael Ayton