“I have hymns you haven’t heard
There is an upward soaring
In which I bend close.
You can barely distinguish me
From the things that kneel before me.
They are like sheep, they are grazing.
I am the shepherd on the brow of the hill.
When evening draws them home
I follow after, the dark bridge thudding.
And the vapor rising from their backs
Hides my own homecoming.”
1, 40 (101 Barrows and Macy)
From ( Rainer Maria) Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God
~translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy
In high school I memorized several of Rainer Maria Rilke’s poems for a German completion. Recently, while sipping a latte and browsing in a used bookstore, I came up on Rilke’s Book of Hours and was excited to find that Rilke wrote many of his poems as psalms to God. I wasn’t a Christian in high school, but as I have reread some of Rilke’s poems and have searched for the ones I memorized all of those years ago, it is exciting to see the love offered to God in his words. I am trying to find the ones I memorized, and when I do, I’ll share those too.