A Few Lines Inspired By Rilke


I am too alone in the world, and not alone enough

to make every minute holy.       

      Rainer Maria Rilke, “I Am Too Alone In The World”




In ancient Greece, where a road branched

Or ended where no one had thought to go, 

Some early traveler would build a shrine

Of stones gathered as a prayer to the gods

And he and all who came after would ask

To know which direction would lead them

From where they had come to not being lost.

It seems I have come this far and no farther,

Where there is no holy place nor knowing

Any prayers to those who decided destinies

And moved men, pawns and kings, pieces

Played in their grand games of our odysseys

And their ecstasies, wars won and loves lost

For their amusements or bickering revenges,

Moves and counter-moves.  Though there was

Something to be said then for knowing your life

Was played out in failures not of your making,

Here and now there are no temples nor oracles

To answer with their riddles,  The gods are gone,

Games are done, and every choice seems unholy.

Poetry by countryfog
Read 510 times
Written on 2015-06-19 at 17:23

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Coo & Co The PoetBay support member heart!
I found this a very interesting read, my friend. I enjoyed the opening scene in ancient Greece, the shrine of stones and the references to pawns and kings. I don't know how much is covered by the expression 'here and now', so I falter at this point, unsure. That doesn't make the poem any less enjoyable, though.

Jamsbo Rockda The PoetBay support member heart!
Very moving. Perhaps we must be our own oracle. God throwing dice with our lives or subjecting us to torment for amusement does not sound benevolent. It is against the very premise. This piece speaks to me of conceding to the inevitable.

Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
This is a fine, thoughtful poem, Fog. It ends a little harshly, if one takes "unholy" to mean vicious or immoral. I understand that faith is comforting to those who have it. I suppose that a fierce belief in "free will" and individual agency also could be comforting. I don't know. I have neither.

one trick pony The PoetBay support member heart!
"Here it is that the time has come to enrich and adorn my soul with goods that it can carry with it when set free of this body that obstructs and blinds it~"
Jean-Jacques Rousseau

This doesn't address your poem exactly, but it may, the next poem to come, following your line of thought.

Food for thought. Though I don't worship at temples or go to church, I sometimes agree with Pascal that maybe it's better to pretend the gods exist, even if they don't. If you define God as something you believe in, then just about everyone has one--money and big houses for some, love for others, etc. I think I kind of go along with the Romantics who adopted Nature as the deity. Nature kindly answers many riddles for me and provides endless consolation; a better god than many.

So now we are the Responsible.
No places to hide and no Gods to blame or guide.
I like this it makes me consider which can only be a good thing... I think!:)