Poetry Project — April 2017
This month, we decided we’d have poetic conversations with Rilke.
So we took this piece:
You, darkness, of whom I am born—
I love you more than the flame
that limits the world
to the circle it illumines
and excludes all the rest.
But the dark embraces everything
shapes and shadows, creatures and me,
people, nations—just as they are.
It lets me imagine
a great presence stirring beside me
I believe in the night.
—Rainer Maria Rilke, The Book of Hours, translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy
And then we talked back to it. Kind of fun, huh?
Here’s my try:
You, lover of shadows –
You mistake my totality
for constance, you romanticize
midnight’s communal meeting
of all the world’s hearts.
But that’s because you’ve always
made it till morning, because behind
your darkness there’s a waxing moon
that lies in wait
I believe in light.