We say release, and radiance, and roses

by Rainer Maria Rilke

English version by Stephen Mitchell
Original Language German

We say release, and radiance, and roses,
and echo upon everything that's known;
and yet, behind the world our names enclose is
the nameless: our true archetype and home.

The sun seems male, and earth is like a woman,
the field is humble, and the forest proud;
but over everything we say, inhuman,
moves the forever-undetermined god.

We grow up; but the world remains a child.
Star and flower, in silence, watch us go.
And sometimes we appear to be the final
exam they must succeed on. And they do.

-- from Ahead of All Parting: The Selected Poetry and Prose of Rainer Maria Rilke, Translated by Stephen Mitchell

<<Previous Poem | More Poems by Rainer Maria Rilke | Next Poem >>


View All Poems by Rainer Maria Rilke



Recommended Books: Rainer Maria Rilke

The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry Ahead of All Parting: The Selected Poetry and Prose of Rainer Maria Rilke The Soul is Here for its Own Joy: Sacred Poems from Many Cultures Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God In Praise of Mortality: Rilke's Duino Elegies & Sonnets to Orpheus
More Books >>





We say release, and