March 19, 2011

Like a Web

Rainer Maria Rilke
photographer unknown

When I lean over the chasm of myself—
it seems
my God is dark
and like a web: a hundred roots
silently drinking.

This is the ferment I grow out of.

From the Book of Hours I, 3


  1. Amazing how much Rilke established as foundation for the grand forays of his work in Book of Hours ... I absolutely love the notion of a dark god who has a "hundred roots/silently drinking": it's makes so clear the poet's vocation is to grow a verbal canopy from those roots, tall and strong and fully open to the sky ... - Brendan

  2. The dark brackish ? or clear- I would say the
    tiny fibers in dark woodish earth. Like under an old leaf pile.
    In any case I do like this piece thanks.

  3. instead of from the book of hours this could be from the book of horrors. i find this frightening. so organic. god not as pristine and clean, but that unnameable thing that moves in the night, that drinks from the nether regions of our corporeal bodies and our souls. yikes. i love it. i appreciate his melding of darkness into this place where normally he refers to lightness. i was just wondering myself if polar opposites exist closer in relation to one another than i previously thought. i had been thinking very neatly and school girlishly that they were well behaved to the right and left like teams picked for softball. but instead perhaps they are so densely together they make the ball itself!

    rah! rah! i pick rilke!


  4. Yeah, I think it is that way, they are densely packed together. Reading Rumi intensely for a year, I finally started getting what he keeps bringing in: for every thing, the opposite is equally true and present. Don't get too accustomed to one way, or to only light, or to joy, or freedom, or life, or anything, for the opposing force, it's reverse archetype, will be close at hand. With that kind of thinking comes something of peace.

    Anyway, here, while I see the dark, I see also the light, close at hand, ready to grow from the ferment.


  5. Ohh....a question answered...

  6. I love Rilke and I am following this amazing blog :)

  7. Hi - My name is Stephanie -The above image of Rilke is an image I am looking for - I work at a publishing company and we are publishing about about Rilke - we want to use that image (him standing) on the cover - do you know how to get permissions or can you direct me to where you got that image? - I would appreciate any help - Thank you so much


"Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night."

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Go ahead, bloom recklessly!