Telling You All

René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke — better known as Rainer Maria Rilke — was a Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist, "widely recognized as one of the most lyrically intense German-language poets", writing in both verse and highly lyrical prose.






Telling you all would take too long.
Besides, we read in the Bible
how the good is harmful
and how misfortune is good.

Let's invite something new
by unifying our silences;
if, then and there, we advance,
we'll know it soon enough.

And yet towards evening,
when his memory is persistent,
one belated curiousity
stops him before the mirror.

We don't know if he is frightened.
But he stays, he is engrossed,
and, facing his reflection,
transports himself somewhere else.

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