Evening

Stumbling upon the right poem at the right hour is like watching the sunrise; no, even better, it’s like watching the sunset. It’s astonishing what the lyricism of words, even when translated, can do for a tired soul.

Evening, by Rainer Maria Rilke (tr. Stephen Mitchell)

The sky puts on the darkening blue coat

held for it by a row of ancient trees;

you watch: and the lands grow distant in your sight,

one journeying to heaven, one that falls;

and leave you, not at home in either one,

not quite so still and dark as the darkened houses,

not calling to eternity with the passion

of what becomes a star each night, and rises;

and leave you (inexpressibly to unravel)

your life, with its immensity and fear,

so that, now bounded, now immeasurable,

it is alternately stone in you and star.

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