Not by Grasping

A god can do it. But tell me how
a person can flow like that through the slender lyre.
Our mind is split. At the crossroads in our heart
stands no temple for Apollo.

Song, as you teach us, is not a grasping,
not a seeking for some final consummation.
To sing is to be. Easy for a god.
But when do we simply be? When do we

become one with earth and stars?
It is not achieved, young friend, by being in love,
however vibrant that makes your voice.

Learn to forget you sang like that. It passes.
Truly to sing takes another kind of breath.
A breath in the void. A shudder in God. A wind.

— Rilke, Sonnets to Orpheus I, 3

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