Tag Archives: Rainer Maria Rilke

In Honour of the 92nd Anniversary of Rainer Maria Rilke’s Death Yesterday Three Marvellous Rilkean Knockoffs by Vuong, Oliver and Hayes

Archaic Torso of Apollo We cannot know his legendary head with eyes like ripening fruit. And yet his torso is still suffused with brilliance from inside, like a lamp, in which his gaze, now turned to low, gleams in all its power. Otherwise the curved breast could not dazzle you so, nor could a smile […]

Priest and Poet – Andy Parker – 1957-2018

The Triumph of Love from CXLVIII So – Croker, MacSikker, O’Shem – I ask you what are poems for? They are to console us with their own gift, which is like perfect pitch. Let us commit that to our dust. What ought a poem to be? Answer, a sad and angry consolation. What is the […]

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. […]