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I Love the Dark Hours of My Being

A Poem by Rainer Maria Rilke

A Poem by Rainer Maria Rilke:

I love the dark hours of my being.

My mind deepens into them.

There I can find, as in old letters,
the days of my life, already lived,
and held like a legend, and understood.

Then the knowing comes: I can open
to another life that’s wide and timeless.

So I am sometimes like a tree
rustling over a grave
and making real the dream
of the one its living roots embrace:

a dream once lost
among sorrows and songs.


—  Rainer Maria Rilke
“I love the dark hours of my being”
(Ich liebe meines Wesens Dunkelstunden)
The Book of Hours: Love Poems to God
I,5 (trans. Anita Barrows, Joanna Macy)


To see other content from this issue of the Table Journal, click here. For more on Rilke’s story, see here