Go To The Limits Of Your Longing

God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
Then walks with us silently out of the night.

 

These are words we dimly hear:

 

You, sent out beyond your recall,
Go to the limits of your longing.

Embody me.

 

Flare up like flame
And make big shadows I can move in.

 

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.

 

Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.

 

Give me your hand.

 

From Rainer Maria Rilke’s “Book of Hours”

Translated by Joanna Macy

 

 

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Rainer Maria Rilke

About Rainer Maria Rilke

Rainer Maria Rilke was a Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist born in Prague in 1875. He is widely recognized as one of the most lyrically intense German-language poets, and his work is often described as inherently “mystical”. His writings include one novel, several collections of poetry, and several volumes of correspondence. He died of leukemia in 1927.
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