July 18, 2011

I would like to step out of my heart… #PoetrySummer, Week 7

I was visiting David’s family home place in Polk County yesterday, where there is no internet connection, but  even though I couldn’t blog about it on time, I successfully recited my poem on Sunday for week 7 of #PoetrySummer! It is  Lament by Rainer Maria Rilke (from The Book of Pictures).

Everything is far
and long gone by.
I think that the star
glittering above me
has been dead for a million years.
I think there were tears
in the car I heard pass
and something terrible was said.
A clock has stopped striking in the house
across the road…
When did it start?…
I would like to step out of my heart
and go walking beneath the enormous sky.
I would like to pray.
And surely of all the stars that perished
long ago,
one still exists.
I think that I know
which one it is–
which one, at the end of its beam in the sky,
stands like a white city…

I love the part where Rilke says, “I would like to step out of my heart/and go walking beneath the enormous sky.” When I go to bed overwhelmed by some sadness or confrontation, I sometimes imagine myself striking out for a walk, alone in the dark, as if the deep and heavy air will cover me in escape.

But as I type here now, I realize that perhaps what’s most comforting about that fancy of walking out alone through the dark is my house waiting on the return, light in the windows.

Next week, I’d like to say all the poems I’ve done so far, just to see if I remember them. We’ll see if David minds listening.