Thursday, January 10, 2008

Rilke's Book of Hours -- Selections from Barrows & Macy Translation

God, give us each our own death,
the dying that proceeds
from each of our lives:

the way we loved,
the meanings we made,
our need.


You who know, and whose vast knowing
is born of poverty, abundance of poverty --

make it so the poor are no longer
despised and thrown away.

Look at them standing about --
like wildflowers, which have nowhere else to grow.


I thank you, deep power
that works me ever more lightly in ways I can't make out.
The day's labor grows simple now,
and like a holy face
held in my dark hands.


You too will find your strength.
We who must live in this time
cannot imagine how strong you will become --
how strange, how surprising,
yet familiar as yesterday.

We will sense you
like a fragrance from a nearby garden
and watch you move through our days
like a shaft of sunlight in a sickroom.

We will not be herded into churches,
for you are not made by the crowd,
you who meet us in our solitude.

We are cradled close in your hands --
and lavishly flung forth.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:17 PM

    if only for once it were still.
    if the -not quite right- and -why this-
    could be muted...