Two poems, two images

January 24, 2011

The Unspeaking Center

She who reconciles the ill-matched threads
of her life, and weaves them gratefully
into a single cloth —
it’s she who drives the loudmouths from the hall
and clears it for a different celebration

where the one guest is you.
In the softness of evening
it’s you she receives.

You are the partner of her loneliness,
the unspeaking center of her monologues.
With each disclosure you encompass more
and she stretches beyond what limits her,
to hold you.

Rilke, The Book of Hours I, 17

Sing, My Heart

Sing, my heart, the gardens you never walked,
like gardens sealed in glass balls, unreachable.
Sing the waters and roses of Isfahan and Shiraz;
praise them, lush beyond compare.

Swear, my heart, that you will never give them up.
That the figs they ripened ripened for you.
That you could tell by its fragrance
each blossoming branch.

Don’t imagine you could ever let them go
once they made the daring choice: to be!
Like a silken thread, you entered the weaving.

whatever image you take within you deeply,
even for a moment in a lifetime of pain,
see how it reveals the whole — the great tapestry.

Rilke, Sonnets to Orpheus II, 21

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