15 February 2008 | Vol. 7, No. 4

Love Song

How can I keep my soul in me, so that it doesn't touch your soul?

How can I raise it high enough, past you, to other things?

I would like to shelter it, among remote lost objects,

in some dark and silent place that doesn't resonate

when your depths resound.

Yet everything that touches us, me and you,

takes us together like a violin's bow,

which draws one voice out of two separate strings.

Upon what instrument are we two spanned?

And what musician holds us in his hand?

Oh sweetest song.

About the author:

1875-1926. Admired by his contemporary poets, but not well-known among the general public until after his death, Rainer Maria Rilke is now considered one of the greatest poets of the 20th century. He is especially famous for the nonfiction Letters to a Young Poet, for The Duino Elegies, and for the oft-anthologized poem, "The Archaic Torso of Apollo."

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by Rainer Maria Rilke at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 7, No. 4, where "Love Song" ran on February 15, 2008. List other work with these same labels: poetry, classic, translation.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

copyright © 2001-2011
XHTML // CSS // 508