Saturday, April 18, 2009

Full Circle


Today I had a full circle moment.

I love Rainer Maria Rilke, whom I discovered as a result of reading The Gold Puppy. The Rilke poem that started it all for me just happened to turn up in a book about religion that I'm reading at the moment. It still made me cry. The poem is this:

Gott spricht zu jedem nur, eh er ihn macht

God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
Then walks with us silently out of the night.

These are the words we dimly hear:

You, sent out beyond your recall,
Go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.

Flare up like flame
And make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don't let yourself lose me.

Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.

Give me your hand.

--Rainer Maria Rilke, Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God, translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy.

12 comments:

Barbara said...

This poem reminded me of the last chapter of "The World to Come" by Dara Horn. I think you would like it a lot.

Hope things are going well for you in the new job!

Steve said...

Wow. That's beautiful!

Angela said...

Rilke is simply the best, but I also love Hermann Hesse. Have you found "Stufen"?
Do you know the autumn poem by Rilke "Herr, es ist Zeit, der Sommer war sehr groß..." I know it by heart and feel the truth every fall again. I am glad he gets spread. And do you also know Heinrich Heine?

Siobhán said...

Adrianne - Good to see you back. Hope the job is going well for you.

That poem is really beautiful.
Siobhán

P.S. Word veri is unten. Does that mean anything in German Angela, or am I just confusing with unter?

Reya Mellicker said...

Well you KNOW I love that poem! Every time I read it, it's a revelation. Wow.

Angela said...

Unten means underneath, Siobhán. So what`s underneath? Always the Truth!

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

I came to your blog today, because I lost a kitty and then thought of you and then knew I hadn't visited in a while and then, today...what a wonderful love poem, it spoke to me and eased my sadness a bit...

karen said...

I'm late here, been on holiday - maybe too late? lovely poem!

Barry said...

Great to hear from you again Adrianne!

I managed to spend a lifetime without going near a hospital. Now I'm starting to feel all too "at home" in them.

I hope the stem cell therapy works. It is exciting to think stem cell therapy has come this far!

lakeviewer said...

I dropped in and found my favorite poet quoted.

Ulysses said...

I like especially:
"No feeling is final", and
"Give me your hand."
It reminds me that's there's nothing we won't live through and that we won't be alone in it.
But I have to disagree about the seriousness of the country they call life.
Hand in hand helps to dispel the seriousness. I'm thinking that "seriousness" must not translate well. I wish to be certain to be authentic, but leave room for falibility.

Ulysses said...

A case in point: misspellings