Rainer Maria Rilke

(4 December 1875 – 29 December 1926 / Prague / Czech Republic)

Childhood Poem by Rainer Maria Rilke


It would be good to give much thought, before
you try to find words for something so lost,
for those long childhood afternoons you knew
that vanished so completely -and why?

We're still reminded-: sometimes by a rain,
but we can no longer say what it means;
life was never again so filled with meeting,
with reunion and with passing on

as back then, when nothing happened to us
except what happens to things and creatures:
we lived their world as something human,
and became filled to the brim with figures.

And became as lonely as a sheperd
and as overburdened by vast distances,
and summoned and stirred as from far away,
and slowly, like a long new thread,
introduced into that picture-sequence
where now having to go on bewilders us.

Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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Comments about this poem (Childhood by Rainer Maria Rilke )

  • Rookie Jagannath rao Adukuri (3/6/2006 3:57:00 AM)

    'Nothing happened to us except what happens to things and creatures'- a childhood experience of unawareness is so beautifully captured here. (Report) Reply

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