January 10, 2011

To Praise

The Golden Autumn, by Leonid Pasternak

Praise, my dear one.
Let us disappear into praising.
Nothing belongs to us.

Uncollected Poems
(From Elegy to Marina Tsvetayeva-Efron)


  1. To praise, to become the praising - without desire. One of the cornerstones of R's poetry.

  2. I'm pretty intrigued by the last two lines of Rilke's. The implication is that if we praise, truly, we are annihilated. Empty of self. Is praise the ultimate letting go?

  3. i own nothing. i borrow everything. i am grateful each day for the insight of these words. steven

  4. On the one hand: yearning for no further connections, the letting-go of desire and thoughts of possession, the terror, the spine-chilling stars, the uncaring otherness of nature and the universe.

    On the other hand: praise, art, human longing and desire, the interiorisation of the outer world. And - actually - the possibility of connection.

    So many dichotomies - between human consciousness and unconscious nature, between desire and non-desire, between angel and man, between connection and non-connection - lie at the heart of Rilke.

  5. Perhaps it is not to watch the river but to become the river. How can you own anything if you are a part of it? You are small. You are infinitesimal. You are a speck within the everything. Flow. Be grateful.

    This might not be what Rilke means, but it makes sense to me.

    Our impermanance should teach us that we own nothing but it might just be our impermanance that causes us to struggle to think we do. I think the very key to living lies in acceptance. It is my daily practice.


  6. Don't these colors remind you of certain Van Gogh paint colors?

  7. Life should be an exercise in gratitude for what is, not what our egos constantly seek. The journey is much sweeter when we can let our egos disappear, acknowledge that nothing belongs to us, and join the universal chorus of praise. This is what I take away from Rilke, and what I deeply believe in my own heart.

  8. ...it's about what we take with us after this life. Our soul. We might "have" for a little while, but it is never, truly ours. I can easily see this as I look at the antiques in my house and my old used books with someone else's name in them. I see it in the old photographs and antique post cards I have from the early 1900's.

    There is a movie I watched once that never has left me. Based on a true life story of long ago. It is about a young woman, Little Margaret, who was blind. Her wealthy father tried to find a cure, but was quite embarrassed by her. Finally her parents took her to a town far away to see a "healer". She wasn't cured. So the father made the mother leave her behind. Margaret was alone and scared. It started to rain. She went to the local church and at night when she had to leave and the doors were locked behind her, she sat upon the stone steps, and was rained upon. A person walking by questioned as to why she appeared happy. Margaret replied "I am thankful because God is with me".

    One must strive for inner happiness. Constant praise and thankfulness for life is key - even in tough. I always try to remember this when I feel sorry for myself.

  9. 'Praise, my dear one.
    Let us disappear into praising.
    Nothing belongs to us.'

    Rainer Maria Rilke.

    Praise all that is for we are a part of all that is. Lose the little self in praise. We own nothing and have no need to for we remain a part of it all.

  10. For more on the poetess Marina Tsvetaeva, see this link, which includes a brief biography and translations of several poems. Also, there is a book with the correspondence between Marina Tsvetaeva, Rilke and Boris Pasternak (whose father Leonid Pasternak’s paintings have been used to illustrate the first entries on this blog). You can see a brief summary of the book here.

    Below, one of her poems …

    Held captured and enraptured deeply,
    I saw my dreams during the day, --
    All saw me sleeping where I lay,
    Nobody saw me tired and sleepy.

    And all because throughout the day,
    These dreams were floating in my sight,
    I can’t sleep now, and here I stay
    And like a lonesome shadow sway
    Over my sleeping friends at night.

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  12. Nothing belongs to us. Perfectly put, Rilke.

  13. wonderful. I have been trying to examen my days and give praise for all kinds of wonder


"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!