I Have Hymns You Have Not Heard

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.