Saturday, December 08, 2007

December Dreaming

Read a Winter poem

For some, December is a time to throw themselves into a shopping frenzy, into a whirlwind of material excess and into consumerist greed and superficiality. Others, however, prefer to savor the long and quiet nights for more inward-directed pursuits.

Many stories and poems celebrate the season around the Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanza with insight and imagination.

Reading by electric- or maybe even candlelight can nourish the soul and uplift the spirit in ways that nothing else can.

In the true spirit of the season we present two poems, one by Rainer Maria Rilke (4 December 1875-29 December 1926), one of the greatest and beloved 20th century poets writing in the German language. The other one is by contemporary poet Ana Elsner.

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Es treibt der Wind im Winterwalde
Die Flockenherde wie ein Hirt,
Und manche Tanne ahnt, wie balde
Sie fromm und lichterheilig wird,
Und lauscht hinaus. Den weißen Wegen
Streckt sie die Zweige hin - bereit,
Und wehrt dem Wind und wächst entgegen
Der einen Nacht der Herrlichkeit.

-Rainer Maria Rilke

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a single stray snowflake

gets tangled up in a song

and hitches a ride on the melody

for five beats, maybe six

until it gives itself up to the rainbow

that bridges the gap

of what we feel

© Ana Elsner, 2007
from 'Ciphers Of Uncommon Origin - Poems By Ana Elsner'
used by permission

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