Death bows his head – Poems by Rainer Maria Rilke

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Here are two poems by Rainer Maria Rilke for Poetry Month.


I am like a flag unfurled in space,

I scent the oncoming winds and must bend with them,

While the things beneath are not yet stirring,

While doors close gently and there is silence in the chimneys

And the windows do not yet tremble and the dust is still heavy –

Then I feel the storm and am vibrant like the sea

And expand and withdraw into myself

And thrust myself forth and am alone in the great storm.


Before us great Death stands

Our fate held close within his quiet hands.

When with proud joy we lift Life’s red wine up

To drink deep of the mystic shining cup

And ecstasy through all our being leaps –

Death bows his head and weeps.

Have you read any of Rilke’s poems? I’d love to hear your thoughts in a comment below!

Poems of Rainer Maria Rilke – Summary

Here is the book summary from Goodreads:

Considered one of the most significant literary figures of his era, Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke served as a bridge between the themes and styles of the Romantic period and the concerns and anxieties that would give rise to modernism in the twentieth century. This collection brings together dozens of Rilke’s most popular and critically acclaimed works.

Copyright © by Rainer Maria Rilke.

Translated by: Jessie Lamont

You can find more details here on Goodreads and on StoryGraph.

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