Anthology · Classic · Collection · German Culture · German Literature · Modernism · Poetry

Rainer Maria Rilke

Someday if I lose you,
how will you sleep without
my whispering above you
like the linden’s branches?

Without my lying here
awake and placing words, almost
like eyelids, on your breasts,
your limbs, your lips.

Without my closing you
and leaving you alone with what is yours
like a garden with a mass
of mint-balm and star-anise.

— Rainer Maria Rilke, “Lullaby,” The Rose Window and Other Verse from New Poems, ed. Ferris Cook (Bulfinch Press, 1997)

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