Rainer Maria Rilke

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

Narcissus Poem by Rainer Maria Rilke


Encircled by her arms as by a shell,
she hears her being murmur,
while forever he endures
the outrage of his too pure image...

Wistfully following their example,
nature re-enters herself;
contemplating its own sap, the flower
becomes too soft, and the boulder hardens...

It's the return of all desire that enters
toward all life embracing itself from afar...
Where does it fall? Under the dwindling
surface, does it hope to renew a center?

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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