Tanagra

A small piece of earth, burned,
as if burned by the sun’s fire.
The touch of a girl’s hand
seems somehow still upon it.
Feel how it remained there,
not longing for anything other,
just resting into itself
like fingers on a chin.

We take up this figure, then that,
turning them in the light.
We can almost understand
how they managed to survive.
We need only smile
and accept more fully
what it offers to our eyes.

— Rilke, New Poems

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