When I lose you, someday,
how will you sleep without me
whispering myself away
above you like the linden tree?

Without me waking to lay down
words, as close as eyelids,
upon your breasts, upon
your limbs, upon your lips?

Without my closing you to leave
you alone with what is yours,
like a garden with its sheaves
of melissas and of anise-stars?

– Rainer Maria Rilke
Translated by W. D. Snodgrass


I think Rilke’s verse walks the fine line of sounding 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 art, life and poetry here.

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One Comment

  1. G

    Lovely poem. I was in long time, no rilke mode… no more!

    Posted August 7, 2012 at 14:33 | Permalink | Reply

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