Sonnets to Orpheus
Part Two, XIII
by Rainer Maria Rilke
Be ahead of all parting, as if it had already happened,
like winter, which even now is passing.
For beneath the winter is a winter so endless
that to survive it at all is a triumph of the heart.
Be forever dead in Eurydice, and climb back singing.
Climb praising as you return to connection.
Here among the disappearing, in the realm of the transient,
be a ringing glass that shatters as it rings.
Be. And, at the same time, know what it is not to be.
That emptiness inside you allows you to vibrate
in resonance with your world. Use it for once.
To all that has run its course, and to the vast unsayable
numbers of beings abounding in Nature,
add yourself gladly, and cancel the cost.
Translated and edited by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy