Small Stone for Jan. 26, 2014

badge-14-300x300For Jan. 26, A Year with Rilke shares an excerpt from Letter to Lou Andreas-Salomé, Jan. 13, 1923.

Lou Andreas-Salomé

The selection, which I found on the Floating Library blog, is titled, The Great God Sleep. AYEARWRILKE This struck a chord, because lately I’ve foudn difficulty getting up in the mornings. Since I usually assume it has to do with the feelings of depression that winter seems to bring, I forget that there is another, more logical reason. I never like to “miss” anything.

Jan. 26, 2014

“That great god Sleep: I yield to him all greediness for time.”—That Great God Sleep, from A Year with Rilke.


English: Large black basalt figure of a nude, ...

Mornings, sleep clings to limbs,
eyelids firm-shut, refusing light,
mind still grasping the tail of dreams.

I search for reasons why I deny the day,
forgetting how late I stayed awake,
the futility of wanting to miss nothing.


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Small Stone for Jan. 25, 2014

badge-14-300x300For Jan. 25, A Year with Rilke shares “The Beauty of You”, a 6-line piece from The Book of Hours II, 34.







My inspiration is the first line of the poem, although I move away from my sense of Rilke’s meaning to go with what this made me think about. The beauty that came to mind was that of words and poetry.

Jan. 25, 2014

“In deep nights, I dig for you like treasure.” From the Book of Hours II, 34 –Rilke

Which words will come
unbidden in effortless flow
when time is right?

English: Two owls among the palm trees.

English: Two owls among the palm trees. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What will struggle for birth
beneath wings of night birds
fledglings trying to fly…

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Small stone for Jan. 24, 2014

badge-14-300x300Today’s reading is an excerpt from a letter, rather than a poem. It ends with the idea that we are the “Transformers of the Earth”, yet the middle of the piece spoke more strongly to me, as I try, not very successfully, to transform myself.


Jan. 24, 2014

“Certain stars increase in intensity and extinguish themselves in the angels’ endless awareness.  Others move toward transformation slowly and with great effort, and their self-realization occurs in fear and terror.” –from A Deeper Reality, Letter to Witold Hulewicz, Nov. 13, 1925, A Year with Rilke

How did I grow so far
away from my emotions, where
I often cannot say how I feel,
not even whisper it to myself?

Each step away from fear like moving
through recurring nightmare:
running in place, freeze-frame motion,
the unknown about to overtake me

English: "The running woman" at the ...

and I wake.
But my thoughts continue
running, this time not away,
but toward—


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Small Stones for Jan. 22 and 23, 2014

badge-14-300x300Yesterday I was trying to fix my laptop (unsuccessfully!) and didn’t write a small stone, so today’s post is a two-fer.  The two selections somewhat respond to one another, I think. The first is titled If I Cried Out, and comes from the First Duino Elegy.  The second is Sing, My Heart, Sonnets to Orpheus II, 21.  Links to them are here:

and here (scroll down to the second poem):  

There are other translations where the wording may be different; I try to find ones that match A Year With Rilke. AYEARWRILKE

Jan. 22, 2014

If I cried out, who
in the hierarchies of angels
would hear me? –Rilke, the First Duino Elegy

Song of the Angels by William Bouguereau, 1881.

Song of the Angels by William Bouguereau, 1881. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If angels surround us waiting
for us to call to them, as someone
said the other day on Doctor Oz,
why do their answers elude us?

Or is theirs the other inner voice, muffled
by the loudness of our incessant questions,
our cries so frequent we can’t hear
the answers between the thoughts? 


Jan. 23, 2014

Whatever image you take within you deeply,
even for a moment in a lifetime of pain,
see how it reveals the whole—the great tapestry.
            –Rilke, Sonnets to Orpheus II, 21

In this moment, I am searching
for answers still hidden,
one great image of what it all means.

This is the unanswered question

In a knot.

In a knot. (Photo credit: Carbon Arc)

just beyond each knotted thought.
Which cord will unravel mystery?


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