Oct 17 2012

Rainer Maria Rilke – Buddha in Glory

Published by at 9:03 am under Poetry

Buddha in Glory
by Rainer Maria Rilke

English version by Stephen Mitchell

Center of all centers, core of cores,
almond self-enclosed, and growing sweet–
all this universe, to the furthest stars
all beyond them, is your flesh, your fruit.

Now you feel how nothing clings to you;
your vast shell reaches into endless space,
and there the rich, thick fluids rise and flow.
Illuminated in your infinite peace,

a billion stars go spinning through the night,
blazing high above your head.
But in you is the presence that
will be, when all the stars are dead.

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


/ Photo by .Bala /

Center of all centers, core of cores,
almond self-enclosed, and growing sweet–

Just a few lines so marvelously convey the sense of being centered, profoundly still, yet at the same time expanding into the galactic infinity…

all this universe, to the furthest stars
all beyond them, is your flesh, your fruit.

And even though every being and thing that steps onto the stage of existence, from the tiniest molecule to brightest sun, must sooner or later exit again, yet we come to recognize something here that is bigger still, and deathless.

But in you is the presence that
will be, when all the stars are dead.






Rainer Maria Rilke, Rainer Maria Rilke poetry, Secular or Eclectic poetry Rainer Maria Rilke

Germany (1875 – 1926) Timeline
Secular or Eclectic

More poetry by Rainer Maria Rilke

9 responses so far

9 Responses to “Rainer Maria Rilke – Buddha in Glory”

  1. marrobon 17 Oct 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Ivan,

    The Rilke poem is beautiful but what really made my day was your thought of the day re the consensus facade of words. Dis-spelling it feels like re-aligning with
    the heart star of truth. Short, simple , elegant & TRUE.

    Thank you

  2. Nasseron 17 Oct 2012 at 11:47 pm

    Ivan,
    It is a very delicate and profundly shows the great idea of all ideas about life and the vastness of univers. The eternal position of mind and the timeless secret its beholds within.

  3. ebrahimon 18 Oct 2012 at 7:58 am

    what a majestically beautiful poem articulating the truth of a realized one, who himself is all that is, while not being at all. you and the entire worlds, one and the same thing. outwardly, inwardly and just as you are, as everything else is. but oh, beyond the non-existent concrete phenomena’s lie only the truth. and nothing else but it.

    In simple terms, you are all that is
    While you are really nothing at all
    And when all perishes only that will remain
    Which alone really is- Even Now!

    Now today I stand as a trunk of a tall tree
    The branches above me are asking for nourishment
    In order to bear fruit whilst I look to the root for wholesome sap
    And the root in turn seeks bestowal from the very ground
    The whole tree is from.

  4. aparrnaon 18 Oct 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Oh Ivan, i keep stumbling here and there in your teahouse, and then, in a most unlikely, long forgotten corner, i sit down, giddy and happily dazed.
    today i went back to another of rilke’s poem you had explained a long time back- Not to be cut off.

    Can’t we now comment on older poems somehow? I didn’t see a link to add comments.

  5. Patriciaon 19 Oct 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Hello Ivan,

    Thank you for sharing the Wendell Berry verse for 10/19/12. I am a great fan of poetry and have never read Mr. Berry’s works. But The New Collected Poems is now in my Amazon shopping cart! :)

  6. Jelenaon 20 Oct 2012 at 12:41 am

    I loved A Spiritual Journey by Wendell Berry. Powerful. Thank you.

  7. janet bradleyon 22 Oct 2012 at 4:17 am

    Wendell Berry’s words hit “home” as I sit here missing my dear Colorado from London. Thanks for reminding me to be here.

  8. Ivan M. Grangeron 23 Oct 2012 at 11:13 am

    Aparrna-
    I used to have a search capability on the blog, but it seems to be inactive right now. Here’s the blog page with that (also wonderful) Rilke poem. Comments welcome!
    - Ivan
    http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/blog/2011/07/25/rainer-maria-rilke-ah-not-to-be-cut-off/

  9. rena navonon 25 Nov 2012 at 11:11 am

    The philosopher Blaise Pascal talks about two infinities, the large and the small. Here they both are, in this deep poem about one in the center and the other, the furthest. As Rilke puts the concept in practice, turning thought to flesh, my French training grows in his hand and turns the young student in me into a spellbound woman.

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