I Am Much Too Alone in This World

I am much too alone in this world, yet not alone enough
to truly consecrate the hour.
I am much too small in this world, yet not small enough
to be to you just object and thing,
dark and smart.
I want my free will and want it accompanying
the path which leads to action;
and want during times that beg questions,
where something is up,
to be among those in the know,
or else be alone.

I want to mirror your image to its fullest perfection,
never be blind or too old
to uphold your weighty wavering reflection.
I want to unfold.
Nowhere I wish to stay crooked, bent;
for there I would be dishonest, untrue.
I want my conscience to be
true before you;
want to describe myself like a picture I observed
for a long time, one close up,
like a new word I learned and embraced,
like the everyday jug,
like my mother’s face,
like a ship that carried me along
through the deadliest storm.

– Rainer Maria Rilke
translated by Annemarie S. Kidder

I love Rilke’s voice in this poem, the way he describes what he wants and how he wants it.
You can read more about Rilke here.
You can read some of his writing about art, life and poetry here.

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  1. By Slumbersong – Fiat Camena on August 7, 2012 at 08:44

    […] passionate but not overwrought. You can read other poems by Rilke that we’ve run here: I am Much Too Alone In This World, and Extinguish My Eyes. You can read more about Rilke here. You can read some of his writing about […]

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