Monday, March 19, 2012

I want to unfold...

It is difficult
to get the news from poems
  yet men die miserably every day
    for lack
of what is found there.

~ William Carlos Williams

I find myself reading a lot of poetry these days.  In fact, you could say I'm getting paid to read poetry. I'm nearing the end of the University Extension course / poetry workshop on ekphrasis / art in poetry, I've been teaching on Monday evenings.  And have also been signed up to review four books of poetry for The Edmonton Journal for poetry month. So after the first week of April, I (mostly) get my writing life back, and I can return to my selfish and anti-social ways. Have been rehearsing my "no, I'm sorry but I'm not available" speech.   

I have a huge stack of books I've been collecting that pertain more directly to the project I'm writing which I've been studiously ignoring.  But in the meantime, have been enjoying this other reading path...and finding gems along the way, and revisiting favourite poets too.  Rilke for example....

I Am Much Too Alone in This World, Yet Not Alone

by Rainer Maria Rilke
translated by Annemarie S. Kidder
I am much too alone in this world, yet not alone 
to truly consecrate the hour.
I am much too small in this world, yet not small 
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 everday jug, 
like my mother's face, 
like a ship that carried me along 
through the deadliest storm.


  1. Such a beautiful poem. I love that I come to your site and find myself journalling and searching my soul!

  2. Poetry is such a beautiful refuge. I feel overwhelmed by social media chatter. I also loved your post on Joseph Campbell. I'd copied the exact same passage in my notebook last week!


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