Saturday, February 21, 2009

Book of Hours

Maria Rainer Rilke is a pretty famous 20th century poet. He had kind of an unhappy childhood and went to Russia in his 20s where he went on a spiritual journey of sorts. The end result was The Book of Hours, a series of poems to God. I started reading the collection around New Years and I have been touched by his poignant description of the relationship we share with God. Below are one of my favorites so far.

You, God who live next door-

If at times, through the long night, I trouble you
with my urgent knocking-
this is why: I hear you breathe so seldom
I know you're all alone in that room.
If you should be thirsty, there's no one
to get you a glass of water.
I wait listening, always. Just give me a sign!
I'm right here.

As it happens, the wall between us
is very thin. Why couldn't a cry
from one of us
break it down? It would crumble

it would barely make a sound

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