June 27, 2011


Seascape at Saintes-Maries

Breath, you invisible poem!
Pure, continuous exchange
with all that is, flow and counterflow
where rhythmically I come to be.

Each time a wave that occurs just once
in a sea I discover I am.
You, innermost of oceans,
you, infinitude of space.

How many far places were once
within me. Some winds
are like my own child.

When I breathe them now, do they know me again?
Air, you silken surround,
completion and seed of my words.

Sonnets to Orpheus II, 1


  1. how often i've wondered if this breath was once breathed by someone i've read about or seen in a photograph and wondered at the air and the water as entireties forever present, forever changing, passing in and through everything. steven

  2. Steven, this reading and your comment remind me of that mathematical theory that we inhale a molecule of Julius Caesar’s last breath in the breath we just took. I suppose there is also an exponential possibility we are each inhaling a molecule of Rilke’s last breath at this moment.

    I had a meditation once on my lunch hour at work that was one of those moments when you connect to something so profoundly moving, and true, that you are spurred on to keep seeking it out. My breath was suddenly every wave of the ocean, lapping in rhythm, and containing all that lies in that body of water. The wave only exists for a few moments, and it’s gone. But the body of water is still itself. How do things change, and yet remain the same? How do we recognize ourselves in the vastest of entities, like sea, and air? The answer is in the small wave, in the breath, and in the leaf of the tree, as you sweetly and insightfully spoke of in your poem today ‘it is, as it is.’

  3. Has anyone seen this site?

  4. No, Maureen, I had never seen that site. I don't know if Lorenzo has. What a great resource. I will add it to the drinking glasses references and links at our sidebar.

    Thank you!

  5. Oops, that would be ringing glasses, not drinking glasses . . .


"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!