Like a Metal That Hasn’t Been Mined

You, mountain, here since mountains began,
slopes where nothing is built,
peaks that no one has named,
eternal snows littered with stars,
valleys in flower
offering fragrances of earth. . . .

Do I move inside you now?
Am I within the rock
like a metal that hasn’t been mined?
Your hardness encloses me everywhere. . . .

Or is it fear
I am caught in? The tightening fear
of the swollen cities
in which I suffocate?

— Rilke, The Book of Hours III, 2

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