Rilke - Sonnets To Orpheus 5

Beneath all, the primordial roots
gnarled and tangled in the earth
supporting the broad-leafed canopy
unseen and secret source of life.

Helmet and huntsman's horn, ancient
wisdom of a desperate race,
men in savage harmony,
their women-folk fair as lutes,

branches springing from crowded trunk
all linked in one unending chain
save one … climb, o climb

even as they break - climb
to the very topmost which
at last bows to form a lyre.

A free version of Rilke's Sonnets to Orpheus Bk1.17
Zu unterst de Alte, verworrn,

To hear my setting of these words visit search

by Michael Maxwell Steer

Comments (5)

wow. this made me feel very thoughtful. bravo
Those paths so dear to me epitomizes romanticism at best of best.
This is my favorite poem in the world ^^. I read it everyday.
It is quite understandable that in his race to beat the moon to her cot, he thinks of life of fragile. that the one who waits may fade in sleep as truely as in morning. How concerned he must have been to write in final: something to the effect of I hope to find her alive and well. For I believe he rushes for two reasons. To be alone with her, and to know she lives still. reminds me of the feeling....the feeling of being in love and how much one tends to worry about the person you are in love with. i am not sure if it a happy poem, I do not get the feeling the man is happy, it's as if he is complaigning even though he looks forward to seeing Lucy....? ? Yep, the man was in love....didn't matter what he had to go through to get to his love.