The Powerful Magic of Poetry to Reveal Our Destiny

I love all types of writing, but when it comes to the type of writing that inspires me the most, I find that the words that inspire and move me the most are almost always founds in poems.  Sadly, I don’t considerate myself to be a very skilled poet, though I do write poems from time to time.  Perhaps, that is why I love and admire poets so much.

Poets understand rhythm and nature in a way that most of us cannot feel.  According to more and more scientists, when we look for what creates life we find it is rhythm.   It’s no wonder that poets have been important since the dawn of history.

It occurred to me today that I haven’t written about one of my favorite poets, Rainer Marie Rilke, at least at much length. It is from Rilke that I found words for my spirit that loves the questions in his Letters to a Young Poet which actually feels to me as though I am reading poetry every time I read the letters  Roger Housden includes a wonderful Rilke poem (Sunset) in his book ten poems to last a lifetime.  I don’t always understand Rilke but every time I read or speak aloud his poems, I get the feeling he is one who “knows”.

Today, I offer a brief excerpt from Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus:

O you tender ones, every now and then

step into breath that doesn’t notice you;

let it touch your cheeks, divide in two;

behind you it will tremble together again.

O you who are blessed, you who are whole,

you who seem to be the beginning of hearts,

bows for the arrows, and the arrows’ targets,

only tear-glazed will your smile forever glow.

Don’t be afraid to suffer, replace

the heaviness back on the earth’s own weight:

the mountains are heavy, so are the seas.

You couldn’t support  even the trees

you planted as children, they’ve grown so great.

Ah, but the breezes . . . ah,, but the spaces . . .

This is a translation by A. Poulin Jr. from his book, Rainer Marie Rilke, Duino Elegies and the Sonnets to Orpheus if you would like to read more. If you haven’t read Rilke before, can you feel the depths from which he wrote?  Apparently, Rilke was a friend of Rodin, and there are stories that it was Rodin who taught Rilke how to see the world as an artist.

Who taught you to see the world as you do?

4 thoughts on “The Powerful Magic of Poetry to Reveal Our Destiny

  1. Ejercicios para hacer en casa says:

    This design is spectacular! You obviously know how to keep a reader amused. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Wonderful job. I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

  2. Writerlious says:

    Hmmmm… Emily Dickinson and Jack Kerouac. I grew out of the latter, but I’m still a die-hard Emily Dickinson fan. 🙂

  3. ariadnesdaughter says:

    Who taught me to see the world as I do? Why, the poets and the artists, of course! I’ve been exploring the idea of how poets see the world and how they can learn and become better poets by studying art and learning to see through artists eyes. It was Rilke who gave me this idea. 🙂 Cezanne was a big influence on him, too, and there’s a wonderful book called Letters On Cezanne which is of course a book of letters written by Rilke about Cezanne and his art. I learned so much from this. So now I talk to artists whenever I can.

    • Karen Wan says:

      Thanks I need to find and read Letters on Cezanne! That’s also a good point on talking to artists. When I was younger, I spent more time talking to artist friends. You’re reminding me that I need to do that again!.

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