Book of Hours: Love Poems to God

By October 13, 2015 No Comments

I’ve been absolutely transfixed by Rainer Maria Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God. The collection of writings came to a then 23-year-old Rilke in three brief, intense periods of inspiration, between 1899 and 1903.

His clarity in relating to God is beyond anything I’ve experienced in written form before. Every poem a love poem to God…

Only in our doing can we grasp you.
Only with our hands can we illumine you.
The mind is but a visitor:
it thinks us out of our world.

Each mind fabricates itself.
We sense its limits, for we have made them.
And just when we would flee them, you come
and make of yourself an offering.

I don’t want to think a place for you.
Speak to me from everywhere.
Your Gospel can be comprehended
without looking for its source.

When I go toward you
it is with my whole life.