Rilke, Rainer Maria - 11 Second Elegy
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Duino Elegies – Rainer Maria Rilke [The Second Elegy]
Weren’t you amazed by the caution of human gesture on Attic steles?
Weren’t love and departure laid so lightly on shoulders,
they seemed to be made of other matter than ours?
Think of the hands
how they rest without weight,
though there is power in the torso.
Those self-controlled ones know, through that:
so much is ours,
this is us, to touch our own selves so:
the gods may bear down more heavily on us.
But that is the gods’ affair.
If only we too could discover a pure, contained human place,
a strip of fruitful land of our own,
between river and stone!
For our own heart exceeds us,
even as theirs did.
And we can no longer gaze after it into images, that soothe it,
or into godlike bodies, where it restrains itself more completely.