Falling Stars

Do you remember still the falling stars
that like swift horses through the heavens raced
and suddenly leaped across the hurdles
of our wishes--do you recall? And we
did make so many! For there were countless numbers
of stars: each time we looked above we were
astounded by the swiftness of their daring play,
while in our hearts we felt safe and secure
watching these brilliant bodies disintegrate,
knowing somehow we had survived their fall.


Translated by Albert Ernest Flemming

by Rainer Maria Rilke

Comments (4)

Things eternal; the universe and dreams/wishes. Though perhaps here the thought is pondered: maybe wishes shall, in some way, out last even the universe; and by way of our dreams and wishes, so shall we.
DO YOU REMEMBER STILL...? To whom is Rilke speaking? An old friend? an old lover? Given the expansiveness of his speech and of course the two people are under the night sky far enough from any dwelling place to see the stars brightly, this must be presently a close relationship. Many people would be awed to silence by these cosmic fires. Rilke surprises us and his companion perhaps by announcing they have escaped disintegration (read - death) whereas those immense stellar furnaces are dying. Is this a poem about our place in the universe? Rilke's response is almost cocky? I agree with you Dawn it is an interesting piece but quite unexpected from this poet? By the way he died in 1926. He had written his own epitaph. It goes: ROSE, OH PURE CONTRADICTION: TO BE NOBODY'S SLEEP UNDER SO MANY LIDS.
Rainer This is an interesting piece of poetry keep it up
Beautiful imagery. I love how the stars race like horses, just so poetic.