Oct 12 2016

Rainer Maria Rilke – I believe in all that has never yet been spoken

Published by at 9:03 am under Poetry

I believe in all that has never yet been spoken
by Rainer Maria Rilke

English version by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy

I believe in all that has never yet been spoken.
I want to free what waits within me
so that what no one has dared to wish for

may for once spring clear
without my contriving.

If this is arrogant, God, forgive me,
but this is what I need to say.
May what I do flow from me like a river,
no forcing and no holding back,
the way it is with children.

Then in these swelling and ebbing currents,
these deepening tides moving out, returning,
I will sing you as no one ever has,

streaming through widening channels
into the open sea.

— from Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God, by Rainer Maria Rilke / Translated by Joanna Macy


/ Image by Lel4nd /

What can I say to this poem — but Yes!

I want to free what waits within me
so that what no one has dared to wish for

may for once spring clear
without my contriving.

May we all find the key that unlocks within ourselves creativity, capability, compassion…. that our lives may become a more perfect song to the Eternal.

May what I do flow from me like a river,
no forcing and no holding back…

So what waits within you?


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 >>


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

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5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Rainer Maria Rilke – I believe in all that has never yet been spoken”

  1. Kim Rosenon 12 Oct 2016 at 10:21 am

    Hi Ivan,

    I too love this poem. And yet the translation leaves out some very very important elements of it. It leaves out the entire final stanza which, to me, is the essence of the poems fierce invitation. Here’s another translation:

    I have faith in all that is not yet spoken.
    I want to set free my innermost feelings.
    What no one has dared to long for
    will spring through me spontaneously.

    Is that too arrogant? then, my God, forgive me.
    But I want to say just this to you:
    my true power should come like a sprout, a force of nature,
    no pushing, no holding back;
    the way the children love you.

    With this tide, these mouths
    opening their deltas into the open sea,
    these waves of return,
    I want to reveal you, I want to announce you,
    as no one else has.

    And if that is arrogant, then let me be arrogant
    for this, my prayer
    that stands, so earnest and alone,
    before the clouds that shroud your shining face.
    .

    –R. M. Rilke, Translation by Kim Rosen and Karin Aarons

    ps. I am deeply indebted to Joanna Macy and Anita Barrows for turning me in the direction of Rilke’s poems that speak deeply to my soul. But I use them only as sign posts. Then I go and find every other translation I can, also work with Google translate and my german speaking friends, and do my best to discover the poem for myself.

  2. Ivan M. Grangeron 12 Oct 2016 at 11:52 am

    Kim-

    I didn’t realize that the version I shared was missing the final stanza. Thanks for pointing that out.

    I love the process you described, one I often follow myself — I look at several translations and, when possible, read it in the original language. I think of it as “triangulating” the meaning, seeking a deeper relationship with the heart of the poem.

    Your version is wonderful!

    Ivan

  3. Cindyon 12 Oct 2016 at 11:28 am

    I love this poem! As a student of German literature I have no objection to the translation you posted, but for one small matter. In the 3rd line from the bottom, I would replace “sing you” with “sing to you.”…However, on rereading the translation several times, I sense that either is fine. Any thoughts?

  4. Rose Boothon 12 Oct 2016 at 11:39 am

    This Poem / Prayer has spoken to My Soul. Bold wants / desires arise..Yes and yet beautifully tempered By reverence to God..This is a man clearly in intimate relationship.which is beautiful. It resonates Deeply.

  5. maria akramon 14 Oct 2016 at 6:40 am

    Hi, i truly appreciate every material you share its outstanding for ever.wish you good health and luck .get well soon…….be haapy and healthy forever.

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