January 23, 2011

Sing, My Heart

 Rodin's garden sculpture of Balzac, Musée Rodin, Paris
photo by BillandKent;
Musée Rodin was previously the residence of the sculptor, 
77 rue de Varenne with surrounding garden,
and where Rilke also lived as Rodin's secretary;
Rodin donated the mansion and gardens to France to house his works.

Sing, my heart, the gardens you never walked,
like gardens sealed in glass balls, unreachable.
Sing the waters and roses of Isfahan and Shiraz;
praise them, lush beyond compare.

Swear, my heart, that you will never give them up.
That the figs they ripened ripened for you.
That you could tell by its fragrance
each blossoming branch.

Don't imagine you could ever let them go
once they made the daring choice: to be!
Like a silken thread, you entered the weaving.

Whatever image you take within you deeply,
even for a moment in a lifetime of pain,
see how it reveals the whole — the great tapestry.

Sonnets to Orpheus II, 21


  1. Good morning, I'm German, so Rilke is a school friend from the very beginning. Years ago I took the "Duineser Elegien" for an exam although I didn't understand them very much...
    Now I found your blog and like to listen to the English Rilke "sound".

  2. Whatever image you take within you deeply,
    even for a moment in a lifetime of pain,
    see how it reveals the whole — the great tapestry
    there it is!!! sweet piece of thinking in words. steven

  3. This poem makes me want to weep. For beauty. For a mind that longs for beauty so vehemently, that even a distant blossom-image in a garden never walked, is worth living for.

  4. This is just wonderful! A mind that drinks in beauty, relishes it, remembers it, and understands the role that it plays in holding the tapestry of our lives together.

  5. 'Sing, my heart, the gardens you never walked'! And, even though you never walked them, they were there just for you! This is such an incredibly beautiful and inspiring idea. Our imagination is endless, our inner space is endless. The real and the imagined are one. We can be connected with it all, part of it all, the 'whole', 'the great tapestry'.

  6. Thank you for publishing this photograph of Balzac in the Rodin gardens. You bring it all back to me and I've not been in over 30 years but I loved that place, while in Paris, most of all.

  7. So beautiful. Straight in it has gone. Thank you.

  8. I visited Musee Rodin in the early 1980s; it's a remarkable place.

    This is a poem that fills me with joy, because we, too, get to enter "the weaving".


"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!