The Bowl of Roses (III)

And this above all: that through these petals
light must pass. From a thousand skies,
each drop of darkness is filtered out
and the glow at the core of each flower
grows stronger and rises into life.

And the movement of the roses
has a vibrancy none could discern,
were it not for what it ignites
in the universe entire . . .

One could say they were self-contained
if self-contained meant
to transform the world outside,
patience of springtime, guilt and restlessness,
the secrecy of fate and the darkness of Earth at evening —
on out to the streaming and fleeing of clouds
and, farther yet, the orders of the stars —
take it all and turn it into
a handful of inwardness.

See how it lies at ease in these open roses.

— Rilke, New Poems

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