Thursday, June 21, 2018

Quiet friend

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you 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.
~Rainer Maria Rilke

Rilke today...I posted one of his Orpheus poems before (Orpheus links below). This sonnet may be about an ancient myth, but it resonates today.

Sonnets to Orpheus II, 29
by Rainer Maria Rilke

Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,

what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.

In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.

And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.


Previous Rilke Orpheus post
Orpheus with his lute

Becky Herzog is sharing a sloth poem I wrote her for the Summer Poem Swap.
Michelle Kogan has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Michelle!


Books4Learning said...

This sonnet flows so beautifully. Thanks for sharing.

jan godown annino said...

"Live the questions now."


Kathryn Apel said...

Beautiful. 'Let this darkness be a bell tower / and you the bell.'

Linda Mitchell said...

I feel a tremendous sense of relief and calm reading this....I want to live into the answers...I don't want to be the bell....but I will. Absolutely lovely learning and growing in this poem. Thank you.

Linda B said...

No matter what action, I still feel that the "world has ceased to hear" me (us). Thanks for this long ago poem that does speak for us, Tabatha.

jama said...

Exquisite poem and quote. Much to ponder during these dark times.

Kay said...

Beautiful. The line "if the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine" resonates today. I just started THE BOOK OF JOY by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, and in their first conversation they talk about turning the bitter drink to wine--in different words. Both of their lives offered much bitterness, but somehow they found ways to live in joy.

Kimberly Hutmacher said...

A beautiful choice for these dark days. Thank you for sharing this.

Michelle Kogan said...

I hear Rachel Carson's resonating voice in his words, especially in the closing lines of the poem,
"say to the silent earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am."

I wish more would slow down and hear the voices that are drowning today, thanks Tabatha.

This line is beautiful too, "live along some distant day into the answer.

Karen Edmisten said...

Oh, Tabatha, this quote is one of my favorites from Rilke. Coming here and finding it is like hearing a gentle spring rain on the roof, feeling a cool breeze wafting in through the window, and being reminded that there is still beauty and compassion in the world.

I treasure my Poetry Friday friends. Thank you.

Carol said...

Phew! I feel like I need to print this out and read it again and again in these very dark days. Thank you! So hard to feel so very unheard when you are ringing your bell as loudly as you can.

Heidi Mordhorst said...

What the heart needs to hear today and every day: patience, fortitude, hope. These are not old-fashioned ideas.

Thanks, Tabatha.