I would find it hard to imagine the world of poetry without the guiding, reflective voice of Rainer Maria Rilke — for me a cornerstone, like Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Keats, Coleridge, Whitman, Eliot and Heaney. I turn to the entry for today's date, 9 June, in A Year with Rilke: Daily Readings from the Best of Rainer Maria Rilke, translated and edited by Joanna Macy and Anita Barrows, and find this:
You know that the flower bends when the wind wants it to, and you must become like that — that is, filled with deep trust.
RAINER MARIA RILKE Early Journals
The next entry, 10 June, is a poem:
You Inherit the Green
And you inherit the green
of vanished gardens
and the motionless blue of fallen skies,
dew of a thousand dawns, countless summers
the suns sang, and springtimes to break your heart
like a young woman's letters.
You inherit the autumns, folded like festive clothing
in the memories of poets; and all the winters,
like abandoned fields, bequeath you their quietness.
You inherit Venice, Kazan, and Rome;
Florence will be yours, and Pisa's cathedral,
Moscow with bells like memories,
and the Troiska convent, and the monastery
whose maze of tunnels lies swallowed under Kiev's gardens.
RAINER MARIA RILKE The Book of Hours II, 10
Let us be glad of this inheritance, these gifts of green gardens and blue skies, of morning dewfalls, of summers, springtimes and winters, of bells and beautiful cities and spiritual places, knowing at the same time they are all transitory, all destined to be dust and memories. Let us internalise and so immortalise them. Let us be grateful for Rilke, and for his poems like love letters.