The Reader

Who has not known a child like this,
who sinks into a deeper level of his being,
undisturbed by the swift turning
of each brimming page?

Even his own mother might wonder
if it is really he who sits there
saturated with his shadow.

And we, can we know
how much of him
disappears, as he reluctantly looks up
with eyes that yield
to the ready-made world without complaint?

— Rilke, New Poems

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