Sunday, August 05, 2012

"God Speaks..." by Rainer Maria Rilke

God speaks to each, before he makes him,
then goes silently with him out of the darkness.
But the words, before each one starts,
these cloudy words, are:

Driven by your senses,
go to the edge of your longing;
give me clothing.
Shoot up like a torch behind things,
that their shadows, extended,
may always adorn me.

Let everything happen to you:  beauty and terrors.
One must only go on:  no feeling is the ultimate.
Do not separate yourself from me.

Near is the land
that they call life.
You will know it
by its seriousness.

Give me your hand.

Credit for introducing me to this poem goes to Jane Bishop of Park Slope United Methodist Church, who sang an arrangement of this in service this morning.


  1. Beauty and terrors. Yes. So good to know He "goes silently with him out of the darkness."

  2. Oh, what a lovely poem! That is one I did not know by Rilke. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Love this poem! I'm a former Rilke scholar, so you'd think I'd get over the beauty of his words at some point but he just grabs me. Every. Time.

    Thanks for sharing!