"Our dark evergreen"

July 5, 2024

"Our dark evergreen"

poem

Rilke

Someday, emerging at last from the violent insight,
let me sing out jubilation and praise to assenting angels.
Let not even one of the clearly-struck hammers of my heart
fail to sound because of a slack, a doubtful
or a broken string. Let my joyfully streaming face
make me more radiant, let my hidden weeping arise
and blossom. How dear you will be to me then, you nights
of anguish. Why didn't I kneel more deeply to accept you,
inconsolable sister, and surrendering, lose myself
in your loosened hair. How we squander our hours of pain.
How we gaze beyond them into the bitter duration
to see if they have an end. Though they are really
our winter-enduring foliage, our dark evergreen,
one season in our inner year –, not only a season
in time–, but are place and settlement, foundation and soil and home.

First stanza of The Tenth Elegy in the Duino Elegies by Rainer Maria Rilke