Rainer Maria Rilke – The last Sonnet To Orpheus

Transcribed from a reading by Joanna Macy

This poem holds all the gifts of uncertainty, pain and suffering. Yes gifts!

Quiet friend who has come so far,
Feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower and you the bell;
And as you ring, what batters you becomes your strength,
Swaying back and forth into the change.

What’s it like, this intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.
In this uncontainable darkness,
Be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses –
The meaning discovered there.

And if the world has ceased to hear you,
Say to the silent earth,
I flow;
And to the rushing waters speak

About Inner Ventures

Evolutionary Counsellor facilitator and guide on a spiritual path. Craftsman in wood, creative writer, environmentalist & change agent. This blog is my way of promoting my skills, ideas, concerns for the planet, creative work, spiritual searches and philosophy of life in a public forum.
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3 Responses to Rainer Maria Rilke – The last Sonnet To Orpheus

  1. thank you for pointing this out Andrew. I will trust your accuracy on this and change the adjective from violent to silent, which sounds so much more reverential towards the earth.


  2. Andrew Zeiler says:

    I heard a recording of her reading this and there are some different words. Most notably not “violent” earth but “silent” earth.


  3. hoolahoopp says:

    a striking sonnet

    Liked by 1 person

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