On the Edge of Night

My room and the vastness around it,
awake in the oncoming night,
are one. I am a string
stretched taut
across resonating distances.

All things are the body of the violin,
filled with murmuring darkness.
There, grieving women lie down to dream.
There the resentments of generations
surrender to sleep . . .
A silver thread,
I reverberate:
then all that’s underneath me
comes to life.

And what has lost its way
will, by my vibrant sounds,
be at last brought home
and allowed to fall endlessly
into the depthless source. . . .

— Rilke, Book of Images

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