Take a Step Out of Your House

Today, the first day of National Poetry Month, I reaped the ultimate reward of the used book collector. I opened up this dogeared Rilke traslation and out fluttered someone’s efforts. I haven’t read it yet, but I desperately want it to be good. I’m going to share a poem with you every day, and I think this is a good one to start with. So many people think they don’t “get” poetry, but take Ol Rainer’s advice on this one, and take a walk out of your comfort zone.

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The Way In

Rainer Maria Rilke, trans. Robert Bly

 

Whoever you are, some evening take a step

out of your house, which you know so well.

Enormous space is near, your house lies where it begins,

whoever you are.

Your eyes find it hard to tear themselves

from the sloping threshold, but with your eyes

slowly, slowly, lift one black tree

up, so it stands against the sky: skinny, alone.

With that you have made the world. The world is immense

and like a word that is still growing in the silence.

In the same moment that your will grasps it,

your eyes, feeling its subtlety, will leave it.

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