Treasure Island

Rainer Maria Rilke

(4 December 1875 – 29 December 1926 / Prague / Czech Republic)

Sunset


Slowly the west reaches for clothes of new colors
which it passes to a row of ancient trees.
You look, and soon these two worlds both leave you
one part climbs toward heaven, one sinks to earth.

leaving you, not really belonging to either,
not so hopelessly dark as that house that is silent,
not so unswervingly given to the eternal as that thing
that turns to a star each night and climbs-

leaving you (it is impossible to untangle the threads)
your own life, timid and standing high and growing,
so that, sometimes blocked in, sometimes reaching out,
one moment your life is a stone in you, and the next, a star.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Kim Hanson (2/10/2008 4:33:00 AM)

    Oh how I love Rilke. Everything he did. I need to know where on earth I can find something he wrote-I can't find it in any of his works. It's part of a poem he wrote, that I read 30 years ago-can anyone help?
    'What will you do, God, when I die?
    Will I, your pitcher, broken lie?
    Will I, your drink, go stale and dry?
    I am your garb, the trade you ply.
    You lose your meaning, losing me' (Report) Reply

  • Tony Best (10/9/2007 7:42:00 AM)

    I have not the words to express what this poem does to me. I can only say that I love you Rilke! You were a angel lent to us for a little while. (Report) Reply

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