Slowly the west reaches for clothes of new colors

which it passes to a row of ancient trees.

You look, and soon these two worlds both leave you,

one part climbs toward heaven, one sinks to earth,


leaving you, not really belonging to either,

not so hopelessly dark as that house that is silent,

not so unswervingly given to the eternal as that thing

that turns to a star each night and climbs—


leaving you (it is impossible to untangle the threads)

your own life, timid and standing high and growing,

so that, sometimes blocked in, sometimes reaching out,

one moment your life is a stone in you, and the next, a star.

—Rainer Maria Rilke

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kathryn McCullough
    Sep 27, 2011 @ 19:07:13

    Good God, Sandy, that poem is stunning. How have I never read it before? Thanks for sharing it, my friend!


  2. Rev Marshall Wright
    Sep 27, 2011 @ 19:25:43

    “I want to beg you to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign language.

    Do not seek the answers, which cannot be given because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer. “

    Ranier Maria Rilke “Letters to a Young Poet”


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