I had been looking for this one for a while. I remembered reading it as an undergrad, but couldn’t remember the title, just that it was one of Rilke’s poems that inspired me the most, and out of nowhere the title came to me tonight. This poem is amazing, and, in my mind, crystallizes for me the pinnacle of what Rilke’s capable of, but the poem also helps me understand that not everyone is satisfied with living their life happily in the quotidian, in having a maudlin desire filling their insipid lives. This poem inspires me to believe that there are others out there who want a lot too. Enjoy:
You see, I want a lot.
Maybe I want it all:
the darkness of each endless fall,
the shimmering light of each ascent.
So many are alive who don’t seem to care.
Casual, easy, they move in the world
as though untouched.
But you take pleasure in the faces
of those who know they thirst.
You cherish those
who grip you for survival.
You are not dead yet, it’s not too late
to open your depths by plunging into them
and drink in the life
that reveals itself quietly there.