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Rilke Poems

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Rilke Poems

Post  kconheady on March 23rd 2009, 12:20 pm

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

These are 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 seriousnes.

Give me your hand.

-Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy



But you, divine one singing on the brink of destruction
while legions of forsaken maenads tore at your flesh;
you vanquished their shrieks with harmony, oh bright one,
while from utter devastation rebounded your song afresh.

However they wrestled and raged, seeing you persevere,
they could destroy neither your head nor your lyre;
for each sharp stone they launched at your heart in ire,
turned soft, touching you, acquiring the power to hear.

Whipped on by vengeance, they dismembered you at last,
but your melody resounded intact, in the lion, the boulder,
the bird and the tree. In each of these your song holds fast.

O mournful god forlorn! You inexhaustible trace!
Only because rancor broke and strewed you through nature
have we learned to hear, become the mouth of creation's

-Robert Hunter

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Re: Rilke Poems

Post  kconheady on March 23rd 2009, 12:40 pm


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response: Jeffrey and Allie

Post  Admin on March 23rd 2009, 12:52 pm

"one part climbs toward heaven, one sinks to earth."

I think here Rilke is talking about the sun, moon, and the point where both are gone. That point is the "hopelessly dark" time of night, which Rilke says is an uncomfortable middle period. The stone symbol I think is the moon or maybe the earth. The star symbol is obviously the sun.
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Candice Response

Post  candice R on March 23rd 2009, 12:59 pm

By reading the poem I thought Rilke was going beyond the simple thought of a sunset but going into something more emotional and maybe even spiritual. Obviously Rilke is speaking on a feeling of being caught in the middle. Also I got that he believes that at one moment a person could be on the toip of the world; but the next one could be weighed down by the struggles of life.

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