Tuesday, December 4, 2012

"small" Rilke, in "Night"

Today is Rainer Maria Rilke's birthday
b. 1875, d. Dec. 29, 1926


Night. You with your depth-dissolving face
pressed against my face.
You, counterbalance
to my awestruck gaze.

Night, shuddering in my regard,
but in yourself so steady;
inexhaustible creation, enduring beyond
the fate of earth;

brimming with new stars, who fling
fire from their birth
into the soundless adventure
of galactic spaces;

your sheer existence,
you transcender of all things, makes me so small.
Yet, one with the darkening earth,
I dare to be in you.

— Rainer Maria Rilke,
Uncollected Poems,
translation by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy

sketch by me