I like the forgetting and remembering that keeps happening throughout the poem and how it becomes an act of drowning itself; I certainly feel washed up and shook up and glad to be alive here at the shore of just having read it.
Rilke’s idea of stretching strengths between opposites, maybe even finding strength there — it unsettled me and I think it provided a key to find my way out of forced dualities. Or at least allowed for a door.
“dear reader, this is a spell for you. if you’ve been lonely, or broken. if you’ve longed for love that did not make you afraid to be whole. if you’ve longed to be free and longed to be home…”
Have you ever not said “I love you too” when someone said “I love you”? Have you been on the other end, received that silence?
I feel the poem pushing at that door to the grave as it moves from line to line, wondering wide and coming back in tight to the details of daily life.
This poem has me mulling on living vs surviving, vs thriving — I tend to be one for extremes so the idea of a middle ground being the point, or the place is foreign.
For me this poem holds a lot of both/and: acceptance and standing up; quiet and strength; being and not; continuing and returning. It refuses one way in all the ways I can read it.
This idea of ebbing — coming and going, beginning and ending, always repeating, ending yet repeating — it feels difficult to speak to in English for me as well. But I know the feeling of standing at the shore’s edge & how a tide moves...
A poem for you about landing as I take off again! With gratitude for all the grounding poetry gives and sweet whisking away by one’s friends.
A breath, a full and plenty-ness dropped in the midst of much death. Ongoing.
I don’t remember when I first read this poem but it was in a different book and a different time. I do remember how I felt when I read it, longing for long term love and recognizing the perfect contradictions and depth of it this poem names so well.