Comprehend Thee

“All those who seek Thee tempt Thee,

And those who find would bind Thee

To gesture and to form.

But I would comprehend Thee

As the wide Earth unfolds Thee.

Thou growest with my maturity,

Thou Art in calm and storm.

I ask of Thee no vanity

To evidence and prove Thee.

Thou Wert in eons old.

Perform no miracles for me,

But justify Thy laws to me

Which, as the years pass by me.

All soundlessly unfold.”

Excerpt From

The Book of Hours

Rainer Maria Rilke

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In tiefen Nachten grab ich dich, du Schatz

In deep nights I dig for you like treasure.

For all I have seen

that clutters the surface of my world

is poor and paltry substitute

for the beauty of you

that has not happened yet.

My hands are bloody from digging.

I lift them, hold them open in the wind,

so they can branch like a tree.

Reaching, these hands would pull you out of the sky

as if you had shattered there,

dashed yourself to pieces in some wild impatience.

What is this I feel falling now,

falling on this parched earth,


like a spring rain?

~ , From The Book of Hours II, 3

An Education in Gratitude

“A CRITIC has truly pointed out that Savonarola could not have been fundamentally anti-æsthetic, since he had such friends as Michael Angelo, Botticelli, and Luca della Robbia. The fact is that this purification and austerity are even more necessary for the appreciation of life and laughter than for anything else. To let no bird fly past unnoticed, to spell patiently the stones and weeds, to have the mind a storehouse of sunset, requires a discipline in pleasure, and an education in gratitude.”

~G.K. Chesterton: ‘Savonarola’

(In “Twelve Types”:

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Lose not Wonder

“LIFE is not void or stuff for scorners:

We have laughed loud and kept our love,

We have heard singers in tavern corners

And not forgotten the birds above:

We have known smiters and sons of thunder

And not unworthily walked with them,

We have grown wiser and lost not wonder;

And we have seen Jerusalem.”

~G.K. Chesterton: Collected in ‘The Ballad of St. Barbara and Other Verses.’ (1922)