Poetry Before Bed

Good poetry gives us pause; makes us consider our life on this plane. Rilke does that for me. In this poem, it is the last stanza that gives me pause.

Du Berg, blieb da die Gebirge Kamen

“You mountains, here since mountains began,

slopes where nothing is built, peaks that no one had named,

eternal snows littered w stars,

valleys in flower —

Do I move inside you now?

Am I within the rock

like a metal that hasn’t been mined?

Your hardness encloses me everywhere.

Or is it fear

I am caught in? The tightening fear

of swollen cities

in which I suffocate.”

The book survived the fire of 2011 and is a little bit moldy, sooty and warped by the firemen’s hose, but I couldn’t toss it. It’s been my bedside companion for many years. Ray Bradbury told me one night at a cocktail party, read something good and thought provoking before bed. It gives the mind wings in dream. He was right. And Rilke does that for me. Mañana y’all.

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