Tag Archives: Rainer Maria Rilke

Singing in Dark Times – # 3 in a Series – What Do Poets Do? We Praise

Epigraph from Motto In the dark times Will there also be singing? Yes, there will be singing About the dark times. Bertolt Brecht: Poems 1913-1956, edited by John Willett and Ralph Manheim, Eyre Methuen, 1976 This gorgeous, difficult, heart-breaking world. What do we poets do with it? Brecht says we must sing about it. His […]

The Cost of Refusal – A Poem by Robert Bly (and another by Rilke)

What does refusal look like? Refusal to look at our shadow side, our rejected aspects, good and bad; and/or refusal to live on the borderlands of our lives, and past them, into our greatest fullness?  American poet Robert Bly (1926 – )  symbolizes this or these refusals, strikingly in this poem: And the toe of […]

Dreadfulness and Bliss – The Genius of Rainer Maria Rilke

from Sonnets to Orpheus, Part Two, # 29 Let This Darkness Be Your Bell Tower Quiet friend who has come so far, feel how your breathing makes more space around you. Let this darkness be a bell tower and you the bell. As you ring, what batters you becomes your strength. Move back and forth […]

Paying Attention – Rilke and Hirschfield

    from The Ninth Duino Elegy Nor does the wanderer bring down a handful of earth from his high mountain slope to the valley (for earth, too, is mute), but a word he has plucked from the climbing: the yellow and blue gentian. Are we, perhaps, here just to utter: house, bridge, fountain, gate, jug, fruit […]

We Squander Our Sorrows

As I was searching for a document in my computer files recently I came across something I written to a friend a few years ago. It echoes some of what I tried to write in my recent blog on sorrow: Grief Struck Remedies. But even better it took me back to the poetry of the […]

And There Is No More – But Lots More of Poet, Christopher Locke

In January 2007 I was preparing to lead my first Recovering Words poetry writing workshop at The Orchard, a drug and alcohol recovery centre on Bowen Island, offshore West Vancouver. I was looking for poems on addiction from an addict’s point of view. I had found a chilling one called Half-Hearted Moon from the section […]

Poetry As A Spiritual Practice – Shadowed By Fear

What a great adventure I had for almost 5 months from August to December 2011 when I took Peggy Rosenthal’s on-line course sponsored by Image journal – Poetry as a Spiritual Practice. Here below is my response to her assignment  Poems of Loss, Absence, Darkness, and Doubt. The Chandelier Now, I see you. Now I don’t. […]