Guest poem submitted by Swarna Sharma:
(Poem #902) The Book of Pilgrimage, II, 22
You are the future, the red sky before sunrise over the fields of time. You are the cock's crow when night is done, You are the dew and the bells of matins, maiden, stranger, mother, death. You create yourself in ever-changing shapes that rise from the stuff of our days -- unsung, unmourned, undescribed, like a forest we never knew. You are the deep innerness of all things, the last word that can never be spoken. To each of us you reveal yourself differently: to the ship as coastline, to the shore as a ship.
Translated from the German by Anita Barrows. This poem is from 'The Book of Pilgrimage', the middle section of the Book of Hours, the first being 'The Book of a Monastic Life' and the third being 'The Book of Poverty and Death'. The resonance and lucid imagery of the German original has not been lost in this English translation by Anita Barrows. The subtitle to the Book of Hours is : Love poems to God. This particular poem also reflects the intimate conversation that Rilke has with the universal consciousness and the longing he has for an unmediated conversation with the heart of the Universe. The images of God are drawn from nature but the questing spirit of Rilke rests in the recognition of the immanence of divine effusion, that includes all polarities and dualities and at the same time transcends them. One can readily witness the concept of inter-being, the sacred interrelatedness of all creation that is so central to Buddhism. When Rilke uses images to describe the imageless, he writes as a mystic who celebrates "the deep innerness of all things". In this Rilke belongs in the same league as Whitman and Hopkins. Swarna. [Minstrels Links] Rainer Maria Rilke: Poem #136, The Panther Poem #861, Spanish Dancer Walt Whitman: Poem #54, When I heard the Learn'd Astronomer Poem #157, O Captain! My Captain! Poem #246, I Hear America Singing Poem #268, The Dalliance of the Eagles Poem #445, A Noiseless Patient Spider Poem #498, The World Below the Brine Poem #508, I saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing Poem #887, Beat! Beat! Drums! Gerard Manley Hopkins: Poem #3, Inversnaid Poem #35, The Windhover Poem #59, To a Young Child Poem #134, Pied Beauty Poem #260, Moonrise Poem #606, God's Grandeur Poem #870, No worst, there is none