Monday, July 9, 2007

Rainer Maria Rilke's Advice to Mankind

God speaks to man only once, just before he is born,
then he silently delivers him out of the night.
But the Words, that man hears,
the cloudlike Words, are:

"Explore all of your senses,
follow them to the edges of your loneliness;
then surrender your veils and masks to me.

Within all things burns a fire,
but those things also have vast shadows,
that hide my presence.

Experience everything: beauty and fear.
Man must only keep trying: no feeling is beyond reach.
Do not separate yourself from me.
Very near is the home,
that you call life.

You will recognize it
by its wholeheartedness.

Give me your hand."

(this poem was translated from the German by my friend Rod McDaniel, who lives in Heidelberg)