Friday, April 2, 2010

Re-reading Rainer Marie Rilke

image courtesy of Allyshoo (

Many years ago I used to spend hours immersed in the poetry and writing of the poet Rainer Marie Rilke. In recent years, I avoided his work, preferring to read other poets, but of late I have been rediscovering the beauty and power of Rilke's work.

As Joanne Macey and Anita Burrows point out in the their excellent collection A Year with Rilke: Daily Readings from the best of Rainer Marie Rilke, Rilke was a poet who understood impermanence. He was able to grasp and cherish the transient nature of all things.
Rainer Marie Rilke

And you wait. You wait for the one thing
that will change your life,
make it more than it is-
something wonderful, exceptional,
stones awakening, depths opening to you.

In the dusty bookstalls
old books glimmer gold and brown.
You think of lands you journeyed through,
of paintings and a dress once worn
by a woman you never found again.

And suddenly you know: that was enough.
You rise and there appears before you
in all its longings and hesitations
the shape of what you lived

(from Book of Images)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"the shape of what you lived"-how beautifully said, the shape of what you became, the shape polished by the years of hopes, dreams and sorrows.