|Vision of Ezekiel by Raphael|
This week's poem by Rainer Maria Rilke ponders growing old. Wisdom looks ahead and seizes the moment, will we look back with regret or pleasure in how we used our nights and days?
In some summers there is so much fruit,
the peasants decide not to reap any more.
Not having reaped you, oh my days,
my nights, have I let the slow flames
of your lovely produce fall into ashes?
My nights, my days, you have borne so much!
All your branches have retained the gesture
of that long labor you are rising from:
my days, my nights. Oh my rustic friends!
I look for what was so good for you.
Oh my lovely, half-dead trees,
could some equal sweetness still
stroke your leaves, open your calyx?
Ah, no more fruit! But one last time
bloom in fruitless blossoming
without planning, without reckoning,
as useless as the powers of millenia.
Our Robert Louis Stevenson poem goes with this week's winter theme:
Late lies the wintry sun a-bed, A frosty, fiery sleepy-head; Blinks but an hour or two; and then, A blood-red orange, sets again. Before the stars have left the skies, At morning in the dark I rise; And shivering in my nakedness, By the cold candle, bathe and dress. Close by the jolly fire I sit To warm my frozen bones a bit; Or with a reindeer-sled, explore The colder countries round the door. When to go out, my nurse doth wrap Me in my comforter and cap; The cold wind burns my face, and blows Its frosty pepper up my nose. Black are my steps on silver sod; Thick blows my frosty breath abroad; And tree and house, and hill and lake, Are frosted like a wedding cake.