Saints We Love

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Annunciation - The Angel Speaks by Rainer Maria Rilke

A poem from the great Rainer Maria Rilke 


The Angel speaks

You are not closer to God than we
We’re all from Him so far
Yet with such sweet wonder
Your hands blessed are.
So do they ripen, so they shimmer
from the sleeves as by no woman before.
I am the day, I am the dew,
But Thou,
Thou art the Tree.

I'm weary, for the way was long
Forgive me, I forgot
What He, who sits in gold array
as in the sun sent me to say,
You thoughtful one
(great space bewilders me)
You see: I am the beginning
But Thou,
Thou art the Tree.

Wide I spread the arc of my flight
I found myself so strange and far
And now your little house is drowned
in the folds of my great, bright dress.
And yet you’re alone as never before
You don’t see me at all
As if: I’m a breath of wind in the wood
But Thou
Thou art the Tree.

All the angels fear like this
Let one another go:
Never had we such desire
Uncertain yet so great
Perhaps that something happens soon
You only know in dreams
Hail, for thus my soul now sees:
You ready and so ripe.
You, Lady, are the great, high door
that soon shall open wide.
You, most beloved ear to my song
Now I feel: my word is lost
in you as in a wood.

So I came and I fulfilled
A thousand and one dreams
God looked at me; bedazzled me…
But Thou
Thou art the Tree.

- Rainer Maria Rilke 


Terry Fenwick said...

From: Mysteries of the Virgin Mary: Living Our Lady's Graces by FR. PETER JOHN CAMERON, O.P., the founding editor-in-chief of the monthly worship aid MAGNIFICAT:

He begins a chapter with the premise that Mary's preparation for the Annunciation was a kind of pre-sharing in Christ's passion. She was sinless, while everyone she faced was marked by original sin. She recognized her own "different humanity," Cameron writes, and probably found it a source of consternation and suffering.

He notes an Annunciation poem by Rainer Maria Rilke in which Gabriel was frightened. The angel feared the purity and humility in Mary "capacious enough to contain what heaven cannot hold" and her intense ardor for God, which "literally drew heaven to earth." Cameron explains that humility disposes us to God's grace and "creates a space that God can inhabit with his self, healing and perfecting our self."

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Terry Fenwick said...

I did the layout with lots of cuts and pastes - they let you choose color and size and everything - but I truly did not know how to do it. I had a lot of things I had written and needed a place for them. It worked and I am so glad you liked it. Thanks for your kind words.