Rilke: gathering the sweetnessnesses of plant love

While walking the Appalachian Trail with a friend a couple of weeks ago, all through Georgia and into far western North Carolina I found myself in the company of wild violets. Brought to mind this quote from the fourth of Rilke's wide-ranging and ever-fascinating Letters to a Young Poet:

…all beauty in plants and animals is a quiet enduring form of love and longing…patiently and willingly uniting and increase and growing, not out of physical delight, not out of physical suffering, but bowing to necessities that are greater than pleasure and pain and more powerful than will and withstanding. O that man might take this secret, of which the world is full even to its littlest things, more humbly to himself and bear it, more seriously and feel how terribly difficult it is, instead of taking it lightly. 

In one creative thought a thousand forgotten nights of love revive, filling [the mind] with sublimity and exaltation. And those who come together in the night and are entwined in rocking delight do an earnest work and gather sweetnessnessses, gather depth and strength for the some of some coming poet, who will arise to speak of ecstasies beyond telling. 


Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

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