Sonnets to Orpheus, No. 9

Complete poem by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 – 1926)


Only you, who dare to lift the lyre

inside the inner labyrinth and maze,

will find the pathway back into the light

of endless gratefulness and praise.


Only you, who on death’s bitter flowers

have slept and fed,

will sing a living song

to what was given up for dead.


What shimmers on the pane between the worlds

will quickly slip away;

internalize what you behold.


When born of these two realms

our words and ways

become more valuable than gold.

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