Free

Rainer Maria Rilke, 1875-1926, Austrian

 

I believe in all that has never yet been spoken

 

Book of Hours:  Love Poems to God (I:12); first published at Christmas, 1905

Translated by Anita Barrows, poet, clinical psychologist, American; and Joanna Macy, American born 1929, educator, environmental activist and Buddhist scholar

 

 

 

Portrait of a Man (possible self-portrait), oil on canvas, 1550s.  Jacopo Tintoretto, 1518/19-1594, Venice, Italy.  Private collection on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2018

 

 

 

I believe in all that has never yet been spoken.

I want to free what waits within me

so that what no one has dared to wish for

may for once spring clear

without my contriving.

 

 

If this is arrogant, God, forgive me,

but this is what I need to say.

 

 

 

As above

May what I do flow from me like a river,

no forcing and no holding back,

the way it is with children.

Then in these swelling and ebbing currents

,
these deepening tides moving out, returning,

I will sing you as no one ever has,

streaming through widening channels

into the open sea.

 

 

 

Detail:  Portrait of a Man (possible self-portrait), oil on canvas, 1550s.  Jacopo Tintoretto, 1518/19-1594, Venice, Italy.  Private collection on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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