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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What Rilke meant

I've started a Lenten audio retreat given by Creighton University. The first installment (of eleven mp3 files) began with a poem by Mary Oliver .....


Oh do you have time
to linger
for just a little while
out of your busy

and very important day
for the goldfinches
that have gathered
in a field of thistles

for a musical battle,
to see who can sing
the highest note,
or the lowest,

or the most expressive of mirth,
or the most tender?
Their strong, blunt beaks
drink the air

as they strive
not for your sake
and not for mine

and not for the sake of winning
but for sheer delight and gratitude—
believe us, they say,
it is a serious thing

just to be alive
on this fresh morning
in this broken world.
I beg of you,

do not walk by
without pausing
to attend to this
rather ridiculous performance.

It could mean something.
It could mean everything.
It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote:
You must change your life.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


8:31 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Dyan,

I'm reading about birds lately - maybe going to try to make a bird bath. Wish me luck :)

10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very cool - please post some pictures when it's done!

7:43 PM  

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