Saturday, December 9, 2017

Saturday Poem

You Darkness

You darkness, that I come from,
I love you more than all the fires
that fence in the world,
for the fire makes
a circle of light for everyone,
and then no one outside learns of you.

But the darkness pulls in everything:
shapes and fires, animals and myself,
how easily it gathers them! —
powers and people —

and it is possible a great energy
is moving near me.

I have faith in nights.

Rainer Maria Rilke
(translation by Robert Bly)

I first read this poem on the night Edythe died, lying in a spare bed at her house, in the darkness. As I was sleepless, I had pulled up the blog on my phone and Cate over at Beyond the Fields We Know (see sidebar) had shared it. Something about it spoke to how I was feeling in that silent, sad house and it's been on my mind ever since, especially since we are entering the period of the year with the longest nights. I did a bit of reading about Rainer Maria Rilke and it turns out that his birthday was the same day that Edythe died--December 4th. It seemed a strange coincidence.


  1. That is an odd coincidence. It's a beautiful poem.


  2. I just read of your mother-in-law's passing. So sorry to hear. Edythe sounds like she was a lovely lady. Not everyone is so welcoming to "newcomers" to the family, although they should be. And good for her: she lives on in those she saved through organ donation.

  3. I am so sorry for your loss of your mother-in-law. We are never ready for the pain that comes with losing someone important in our lives.

  4. We studied some of Rilke's poems at school, hardly surprising since it was of course a German school and he is one of the best known and most popular German poets.
    I am sure you have come across the one he wrote about autumn.

  5. It's a peculiar poem and a peculiar notion but I must say that I rather liked it. Thanks for sharing.