Anthology · Classic · Collection · Excerpt · German Culture · German Literature · Passage · Poetry

Rainer Maria Rilke

Streets that I chanced upon,
you had just walked down them and vanished.
And sometimes, in a shop, the mirrors
were still dizzy with your presence and,
startled, gave back my too-sudden image.
Who knows? Perhaps the same
bird echoed through both of us
yesterday, separate, in the evening…

—  Rainer Maria Rilke, from “You Who Never Arrived,” The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke. Translated by Stephen Mitchell (Vintage March 13, 1989)

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