December 2, 2011

In Your Sight

Still Life with Italian Earthenware Jar

I want to unfold.
Let no place in me hold itself closed,
for when I am closed, I am false.
I want to stay clear in your sight.

The Book of Hours I, 13


  1. There is much depth in these few words, this notion of unfolding from the false self to that which is clear or pure in a universal or metaphysical sense. I must also say that I can never read anything about closing and unfolding without remembering those words from an e.e. cummings poem that has long been imprinted upon my memory:

    "your slightest look easily will unclose me
    though I have closed myself as fingers,
    you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
    (touching skillfully, mysteriously) her first rose

    or if your wish be to close me, I and
    my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
    as when the heart of this flower imagines
    the snow carefully everywhere descending."

  2. Wonderful addition, George. I find so much to like in cummings's work. This is a great example of how Rilke's words can be reimagined.

  3. i want to stay clear in your sight


    i want you to stay clear in mine.

    for me the second is more important, i think.



"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!