Posts Tagged ‘Rainer Marie Rilke’

Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem, Buddha in Glory, reminds us of our eternal nature within

March 3, 2018

Michaela‘s website, The Living Room, posted this entry on the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke. She says, “Rilke wrote the poem Buddha in Glory at the time he worked as a secretary for the sculptor Auguste Rodin, who he admired very much. He lived in Rodin’s house and was fascinated with a statue of the Buddha in front of his guest quarters. Buddha in glory is one of three poems and it said that Rilke perceived them, sitting in quiet meditation in front of the Buddha statue in Rodin’s garden.”

Buddha in Glory

by Rainer M Rilke

Center of all centers, core of cores,
almond self-enclosed, and growing sweet–
all this universe, to the furthest stars
all beyond them, is your flesh, your fruit.

Now you feel how nothing clings to you;
your vast shell reaches into endless space,
and there the rich, thick fluids rise and flow.
Illuminated in your infinite peace,

a billion stars go spinning through the night,
blazing high above your head.
But in you is the presence that
will be, when all the stars are dead.

To see all three poems in this collection, in German and in English, visit Luke Fischer and his post: Rilke and the Buddha: Three Translations.

Other poems by Rilke posted on The Uncarved Blog are: What Rainer Maria Rilke inscribed on the copy of The Duino Elegies he gave his Polish translator and Before He Makes Each One by Rainer Maria Rilke.

Related: Fishing For Fallen Light: A Tanka inspired by David Lynch and Pablo Neruda. Also see: John Glenday’s poem, Concerning the Atoms of the Soul, illuminates and nourishes the mind.

What Rainer Maria Rilke inscribed on the copy of The Duino Elegies he gave his Polish translator

January 25, 2011

Inscription from Rilke about words and the essence of language. On the fifteenth of February, 1924, Rainer Maria Rilke inscribed these lines on the copy of The Duino Elegies he gave his Polish translator:

Happy are those who know: / Behind all words, the Unsayable stands; / And from that source alone, / the Infinite Crosses over to gladness, and us—

Free of our bridges, / Built with the stone of distinctions; / So that always, within each delight, / We gaze at what is purely single and joined.

Mentioned in Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry, Essays by Jane Hirshfield, page 56, in her chapter, The World is Large and Full of Noises: Thoughts on Translation. (HarperCollins, 1997)

To learn more about Jane Hirshfield, read this wonderful interview: Pirene’s Fountain: Jane Hirshfield on Poetic Craft.

To learn more about the source of words, creation, both literal and literary, and their connection to consciousness, read: The Flow of Consciousness: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on Literature and Language.

Rilke is letting his translator know that he should just work with the spirit of the poem and not get hung up on translating it word for word, but to capture its essence in his own language.

There’s another message here: When we know the Infinite Unsayable Source of words, which is our own essential nature, it creates freedom from distinctions, like divisive judgments, self-imposed and on others, the fear of differences, and transforms us with the more harmonious unifying values of life. This is liberating and fulfilling. We begin to see things as they are, and enjoy their essence, enjoy our Self.

During our practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique, the mind effortlessly goes beyond words, to the source of thought; it transcends. The mind expands to its full dignity; it becomes saturated with bliss consciousness; and the body releases accumulated stresses; it becomes freer, more flexible. After meditation, our outlook is clearer, we’re happier, and naturally focus on the beautiful in everything and everyone. This brings us delight. It increases our capacity to love; we feel more at home in the world. TM founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi reminds us that the world is as we are. The Talmud agrees: “We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.” (Nine Gates, p. 119)

In closing, here is a multiple-haiku poem I wrote on the creative process, after hearing Maharishi discuss how the Infinite, wanting to know it’s own nature, collapses to a point, and then refers back to itself. This self-referral process continuously goes on within the unmanifest Infinite source—a singularity containing the togetherness of all possibilities. This self-interacting dynamics sequentially creates the primordial sounds of nature’s language, the Veda, which reverberate and manifest into the whole Universe, the unity of all diversities, Nature’s poetry: Coalescing Poetry: Creating a Universe.

See a related poem mentioned in Nine Gates on this topic: Singing Image of Fire, a poem by Kukai, with thoughts on language, translation, and creation. You may also enjoy reading Elizabeth Gilbert—Some Thoughts On Writing, Writers on Writing—What Writing Means To Writers, and one of my first poems, Writing—a poem on the writing process. Also see Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem, Buddha in Glory, reminds us of our eternal nature within.


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