Breath, you invisible poem!
Steady, sheer exchange between the cosmos
and our being. Counterpoise
in which I rhythmically become […]
You, air, still full of places once mine,
do you know me? You once
my words’ sphere, leaf, and smooth rind.
—Rainer Maria Rilke, first and last strophes to “Sonnet 1,” The Sonnets to Orpheus: Second Series, from Duino Elegies and the Sonnets to Orpheus, trans. A. Poulin, Jr. (Houghton Mifflin, 1977)