The Bowl of Roses (I)

You have seen explosions of anger, seen how two boys
wrestle themselves into a single knot of hatred,
writhing on the ground like an animal assailed
by a swarm of bees. You have seen actors portray
paroxysms of rage, and maddened horses
beyond control, eyes rolling out of their heads,
teeth bared as if their very skull were shaking loose.

But now you know how things are forgotten.
For here before you stands a bowl of roses:
unforgettable, complete in itself,
a fullness of being:
self offering without surrender, sheer presence
becoming what we truly are.

— Rilke, New Poems

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