Sunday, June 30, 2013

Feast of Rilke

Happy almost first of July. I wanted to share some of my recent inspiration from Rainer Maria Rilke, one of my go-to poets when in need of a serious inspiration jolt. These poems are taken from a particularly potent volume of his poetry entitled Rilke's Book of Hours [love poems to God]. Many of the poems in this book can satisfy me like food, and comfort me in a way that little else can. I've included four poems in this post (and could have easily added many more). Hope they satisfy you, too!
Happy Summer!


Wer seines Lebns viele Widersinne

She who reconciles the ill-matched threads
of her life, and weaves them gratefully
into a single cloth -
it's she who drives the loudmouths from the hall
and clears it for a different celebration

where the one guest is you.
In the softness of evening
it's you she receives.

You are the partner of her loneliness,
the unspeaking center of her monologues.
With each discourse you encompass more
and she stretches beyond what limits her,
to hold you.

Du siehst, ich will viel

You see, I want a lot.
Maybe I want it all:
the darkness of each endless fall,
the shimmering light of each ascent.

So many are alive who don't seem to care.
Casual, easy, they move in the world
as though untouched.

But you take pleasure in the faces
of those who know they thirst.
You cherish those
who grip you for survival.

You are not dead yet, it's not too late
to open your depths by plunging into them
and drink in the life
that reveals itself quietly there.

Ich komme aus meinen Schwingen heim

I come home from the soaring
in which I lost myself.
I was song, and the refrain which is God
is still ringing in my ears.

Now I am still
and plain:
no more words.

To the others I was like a wind:
I made them shake.
I'd gone very far, as far as the angels,
and high, where light thins into nothing,

But deep in the darkness is God.


Du, gestern Knabe, dem die Wirrnis kam

You, yesterday's boy,
to whom confusion came:
Listen, lest you forget who you are.

It was not pleasure you fell into. It was joy.
You were called to be bridegroom,
though the bride coming toward you is your shame.

What chose you is the great desire.
Now all flesh bares itself to you.

On pious images pale cheeks
blush with strange fire.
Your senses uncoil like snakes
awakened by the beat of the tambourine.

Then suddenly your left all alone
with your body that can't love you
and your will that can't save you.

But now, like a whispering in dark streets,
rumors of God run through your dark blood.


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