Rainer Maria Rilke: The Second Elegy (from The Duino Elegies)

Every angel terrifies. Though I shouldn’t, I am singing
at you, all but lethal birds of the soul, in full knowledge
of what you can do. Where has it gone, the age of Tobias, when from
the realm of radiant beings one stood at a plain front door,
partly disguised for the journey, and no longer frightening
(one young man curious about another young man, as he looked outside).
Now, if the archangel stepped like a threat from behind the stars
and took a single stride down towards us, our own pounding
heartbeat would slaughter us. Who could you be?


Scripture: “Man shall not live by bread alone.”
I love you helps, even if said alone.

A life freshens when lived in company.
Awful to die, and then be dead, alone.

Don’t reread authors drunk on violence.
What picture’s painted in blood-red alone?

Things drab or useless may have hidden virtues.
The alchemist wrings gold from lead alone.

Why should I want to do group meditation?
Vision won’t chat; it breathes, instead, alone.

Pets always push each other from the dish.
A dog or cat likes being fed alone.