Friday, January 8, 2016

A Rainer Maria Rilke Poem

"As long as you catch what you've thrown yourself"

As long as you catch what you've thrown yourself, it's all 
just clever agility and venial gain;
but when you suddenly come to catch a ball
an eternal playmate has thrown
at you, at your center, has exactly set
in mastered motion, in an arc
out of God's great bridge-building -
then that you catch is real power:
not yours, the world's. And when you even
have the strength to throw it back,
no, better yet: have forgotten courage and strength
and thrown it back already...(the way the year
throws birds, the flocks of migrating birds
hurled over the ocean from an old to a new
warmth - ) then, that gamble, is the first moment
you too can be said to play. You
unburden yourself of the throw no longer; you burden
yourself with the throw no longer. Out of your hands steps
the meteor and it races into its skies...


1 comment:

  1. I owe this great poem's being here to the esteemed Kay Parry, into whose Melbourne poetry group it was bravely introduced.