Previous: Carly Joy Miller reads "Ceremonial Psalm"
Next: Analicia Sotelo reads "Do You Speak Virgin?"



View count:8,861
Last sync:2020-10-11 02:00
Mike Rugnetta reads from Rilke's Book of Hours.

Brought to you by Complexly, The Poetry Foundation, and poet Paige Lewis. Learn more:

Mike Rugnetta:

Poem: "My life is not" from SELECTED POEMS OF RAINER MARIA RILKE, A TRANSLATION FROM THE GERMAN AND COMMENTARY by ROBERT BLY. Copyright (c) 1981 by Robert By. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

11 issues of Poetry, subscribe today for $20:

Follow us elsewhere for the full Ours Poetica experience:

#poetry #ourspoetica #mikerugnetta #rilke
My name is Mike Rugnetta.

I chose this poem because first and foremost it has one of my favorite opening lines of any poem, and also in general, I mean, I really enjoy a lot of Rilke's writing but this one in particular I think is a great example of his writing on just, like difficulty, and of, like I don't know, just the difficulty of kind of living and trying to trying to figure out yourself in your life.

My life is not this steeply sloping hour,
in which you see me hurrying.
Much stands behind me;  I stand before it like a tree;
I am only one of many mouths,
and at that, the one that will be still the soonest.

I am the rest between two notes,
which are somehow always in discord
because Death's note wants to climb over--
but in the dark interval, reconciled,
they stay there trembling.
                      And the song goes on, beautiful.