surrender

“Someday, emerging at last from the violent insight,

let me sing out jubilation and praise to assenting angels.

Let not even one of the clearly-struck hammers of my heart

fail to sound because of a slack, a doubtful,

or a broken string. Let my joyfully streaming face

make me more radiant; let my hidden weeping arise

and blossom. How dear you will be to me then, you nights

of anguish. Why didn’t I kneel more deeply to accept you,

inconsolable sisters, and, surrendering, lose myself

in your loosened hair. How we squander our hours of pain.

How we gaze beyond them into the bitter duration

to see if they have an end. Though they are really

our winter-enduring foliage, our dark evergreen,

one season in our inner year–, not only a season

in time–, but are place and settlement, foundation and soil and home.”

-Rainer Maria Rilke, Tenth Elegy, Duino Elegies translated by Stephen Mitchell.

 

note: Duino Elegies translated by Stephen Mitchell is my favorite translation.

finding the one you love

If Only for Once

If only for once it were still.
If the not quite right and the why is
could be muted, and the neighbor’s laughter,
and the static my senses make—
if all of it didn’t keep me from coming awake—

Then in one vast thousandfold thought
I could think you up to where thinking ends.

I could possess you,
even for the brevity of a smile,
to offer you
to all that lives,
in gladness.

note: from the Book of Hours by Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy

Rilke’s is one of my favorite poets.