Spanish Trilogy (II)

How is it that people go around
and pick up random things
and carry them about? Like the porter
who heaves market baskets from stall to stall
as they keep filling up, and he lugs his burden
and never asks, Sir, for whom is this feast?

How is it that one just stands here, like that shepherd,
so exposed to the energies of the universe,
so integral to the streaming events of space
that simply leaning against a tree in the landscape
gives him his destiny; he need do nothing more.
And yet he lacks in his restless gaze
the tranquil solace of the herd,
has nothing but world, world, each time he looks up,
world in each downward glance.

— Rilke, Uncollected Poems

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