Anthology · Classic · Collection · Compilation · German Culture · German Literature · Poetry · Prose · Prose Poetry

Rainer Maria Rilke

“We say release, and radiance, and roses,”

We say release, and radiance, and roses,
and echo upon everything that’s known;
and yet, behind the world our names enclose is
the nameless: our true archetype and home.

The sun seems male, and earth is like a woman,
the field is humble, and the forest proud;
but over everything we say, inhuman,
moves the forever-undetermined god.

We grow up; but the world remains a child.
Star and flower, in silence, watch us go.
And sometimes we appear to be the final
exam they must succeed on. And they do.

Rainer Maria Rilke, Ahead of All Parting: The Selected Poetry and Prose of Rainer Maria Rilke, Translated by Stephen Mitchell. (Modern Library; 1st edition August 1, 1995)  Originally published January 1st 1995.

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