I try not to get too personal on this blog, so I won't go into too many details about a recent death in the family. It's been a bit of a rough week, but as with most things in my life, I take comfort in the wisdom of good writing. Rilke is a poet obsessed with death, sometimes in profound ways and sometimes in strange, unsettling ways. My favorite Rilke poems tend to present ideas about death that, for some reason, comfort me. This is one of those poems. It's not a poem about grief but rather a poem about striving for acceptance of the fate we all share.
The Swan, by Rainer Maria Rilke
Translated by Stephen Mitchell