Ah, not to be cut off

by Rainer Maria Rilke

English version by Stephen Mitchell
Original Language German

Ah, not to be cut off,
not through the slightest partition
shut out from the law of the stars.
The inner -- what is it?
if not the intensified sky,
hurled through with birds and deep
with the winds of homecoming.

-- from Ahead of All Parting: The Selected Poetry and Prose of Rainer Maria Rilke, Translated by Stephen Mitchell

| More Poems by Rainer Maria Rilke | Next Poem >>


/ Photo by AlicePopkorn /


View All Poems by Rainer Maria Rilke

Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

Ah, not to be cut off,
not through the slightest partition
shut out from the law of the stars.


When I sit at my computer in the morning and decide which poem to select for the day, I often feel like a musician, trying to find just the right tone and rhythm. It's a Monday, the beginning of the work week for most people on this list, not the right time for a long poem or a long-winded commentary. Also many people really responded to Friday's selection, and I don't want mentally to crowd it out with today's selection. So I thought we should go with something short, without a lot of my own commentary. Something that gently shifts perception and soothes the heart, but without hooking into the analytical mind.

That's the tone I like to renew my connection with the world each week.

The inner -- what is it?
if not the intensified sky...


A peek into the musical art of poem selection.

...hurled through with birds and deep
with the winds of homecoming.


Have a beautiful day!



Recommended Books: Rainer Maria Rilke

The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry Ahead of All Parting: The Selected Poetry and Prose of Rainer Maria Rilke The Soul is Here for its Own Joy: Sacred Poems from Many Cultures Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God In Praise of Mortality: Rilke's Duino Elegies & Sonnets to Orpheus
More Books >>





Ah, not to be cut