Conversing with darkness

Du Dunkelheit, aus der ich stamme – Rainer Maria Rilke, Book of Hours, Translated by Denise DeVries

You darkness, my true origin,
I love you more than the flames
that bind the borders of the world
in which they shine,
encircling us all,
blinding us to any outside being.
But darkness holds everything within,
forms and fires, animals and me
in its embrace;
people and powers,
and yes, a great force
lingers in my reach.
I believe in the nights.


My shadow

My most interesting self is dark,
featureless but edged by light;
she shrinks and grows
depending on the time of day,
reaching over fences and walls,
imitating trees, disappearing
only on a moonless night.


This conversation was inspired by dVerse. First I created my own translation of the German original. The translation by Robert Bly has also been set to music. I like Rilke’s poem because it makes me think about how black holes pull everything into them.


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