The Abundance of Being

In spite of Fate, the marvelous abundance
of being, like the brimming land
or like stone figures
built into gateways, bearing up balconies.

Or a bronze bell, lifting its voice
over and over against the dullness of our days.
Or that single column in Karnak, standing
long after the temple fell.

Today this extravagance flashes by
in the blur of our haste,
out of the wide yellow day into the vaulted night.

In that rush it dissolves, leaving nothing behind,
just as a plane overhead makes no mark on the sky.
Only our minds see the curve of its flight.

— Rilke, Sonnets to Orpheus II, 22

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