Hello darkness, my old friend

For the season that’s in it, and the darkening days:

by Rainer Maria Rilke
(translation by Joanna Macy & Anita Barrows)
Sonnets to Orpheus II, 29

Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,

what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.

In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.

And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.

(Image: Maxime Simoncelli)

And while you’re at it, have a peek at this:

2016-11-17T17:59:57+01:00November 17th, 2016|Article|5 Comments


  1. Aurora J Stone November 17, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    Simon & Garfunkel take me back . . . we need the darkness. The light is meaningless without it. Darkness, the darkness of winter and its silences are profound and powerful. I relish them. I walk into the garden at night to both embrace and be embraced by them. We need both for the health of our bodies and our souls.

    • Sharon Blackie November 18, 2016 at 7:07 am

      Indeed we do!

  2. Robert Schick November 17, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    Thank you Sharon for sharing the Rilke translation. And, re: the Simon & Garfunkel version, which i grew up performing as a very young rocker…Simon has (?)…supposedly, ‘retired’ from songwriting…don’t know how a songwriter of his renown can possibly ‘retire’ from the passion of music creation, but…). So, i highly suggest listening to an updated version of S of S by Disturbed on u tube…phenomenal…one of rock’s great vocal renditions…nearly overwhelmingly intense and passionate. The video (depending on each of our personal ‘translations’) also portrays a current take on the reality facing this wondrous World we love. And for those who might think it’s digital recording trickery, there’s also a live version on Conan, also on u-tube.

    • Sharon Blackie November 18, 2016 at 7:07 am

      Coincidentally, a friend just sent me the link to the Disturbed version. Beautiful song and video!

  3. greg November 18, 2016 at 1:45 pm


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