Thursday, June 18, 2020

A Rilke poem for your Friday...

A child spends his first week away at camp, and his parents cannot help but notice a change as he returns home. There is a healthy maturing, a gain of self-assurance, a sense of strength. Haven't we all noticed the change in ourselves after we venture out?

This poem by Rainer Maria Rilke, shared by a friend this week, speaks of satisfaction and serenity after stretching wings and facing fears.

English Outbuilding and a DoveCote-Pigeon/Dove House

Dove that ventured outside, flying far from the dovecote:
housed and protected again, one with the day, the night,
knows what serenity is, for she has felt her wings
pass through all distance and fear in the course of her wanderings.
The doves that remained at home, never exposed to loss,
innocent and secure, cannot know tenderness;
only the won-back heart can ever be satisfied: free,
through all it has given up, to rejoice in its mastery.
Being arches itself over the vast abyss.
Ah the ball that we dared, that we hurled into infinite space,
doesn't it fill our hands differently with its return:
heavier by the weight of where it has been.

My best to you for a week of healthy venturing. It's Poetry Friday, so join the gang at Tricia's blog, 


  1. As you know, Karen, I love this poem! Carol Gebhardt

  2. A gorgeous poem. "Heavier by the weight of where it's been" - the collecting of experience beyond the comfort zone, being changed by it. Yet there's a sense of acceptance of it ... all in all, with the stunning photographic offering, beckoning to venture, indeed!

    -Fran Haley

  3. Don't you love this: "doesn't it fill our hands differently with its return", so much truth in this poem. When we venture out, sometimes fearful, we do grow. Thanks, Karen, a new one I hadn't seen before.

  4. I love the last line "heavier by the weight of where it has been." I am so grateful I left home and had my own adventures.

  5. This is a poem for our times, Karen. Each line in the last stanza holds its own as an inspirational poem of traveling through life.

  6. What a lovely poem. I want my children to know these things...poetry teaches so much. Thank you for sharing this.

  7. "the vast abyss" sounds so much like our present times, thanks for sharing this moving and poignant poem. Too bad we can't have the wisdom of years experience when we are first coming back from these early journeys… I love this garden picture–the flowers, buildings, and walk, it's gorgeous, would love to know where it is…

  8. Oh, Karen, I didn't know this one!
    "Heavier by the weight of where it has been."
    Thanks for this.

  9. Usually, I do not learn post on blogs, however, I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to check out and do so!