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This month, my poetry sisters and I are responding to a poem selected by Sara Lewis Holmes - a lovely poem by Rainer Maria Rilke:

You, darkness, of whom I am born---

I love you more than the flame
that limits the world
to the circle it illumines
and excludes all the rest.

But the dark embraces everything
shapes and shadows, creatures and me,
people, nations---just as they are.

It lets me imagine
a great presence stirring beside me

I believe in the night.


---Rainer Maria Rilke, The Book of Hours, translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy

Sara's "rules" were that we needed to respond to this poem in some way - echoes or talk back or whatever. Here is what I came up with, after pondering Rilke's poem. As you will see, it borrows from several sources, from Adlai Stevenson to Robert Frost to Harry Dixon Loes.

Better to light a candle?
Or to wrap the darkness
like a blanket--
covering, dampening,
extinguishing?

No, the dark is too oppressive
without pinprick stars, blinks
of fireflies, glowing coals,
however dim.

I have been one acquainted with the night,
and I reject it as a place of darkness.

I choose to let it shine.

Here's where you can find the poems by my poetry sisters, responding to Rilke:

Sara
Liz
Laura
Tanita
Tricia

And here's where you can find the Poetry Friday roundup:





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Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
TS Davis
Apr. 7th, 2017 03:17 pm (UTC)
Hah, even your brainradio is on board
The variety of sources you used to make your point really work in this - and for some reason, I really love those glowing coals. Reminds me of the little coal beings in "Spirited Away."
kellyrfineman
Apr. 11th, 2017 06:24 pm (UTC)
Re: Hah, even your brainradio is on board
Confession: I still haven't seen Spirited Away. I ought to rectify that. Also, I need to see Howl's Moving Castle. I know, I know.
lpsalas
Apr. 7th, 2017 04:32 pm (UTC)
I love those pinprick stars and all the ways you bring light. And that standalone, strong last line!
kellyrfineman
Apr. 11th, 2017 06:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Laura!
Tricia Stohr-Hunt
Apr. 7th, 2017 08:32 pm (UTC)
I love that you open with those questions. They made me wonder which is better. The candle might be too bright, but your dimly lit sources are beautiful reminders of the light in the dark.

This is a lovely, lovely poem.
kellyrfineman
Apr. 11th, 2017 06:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Tricia. I do love those little sources of light.
Irene Latham
Apr. 7th, 2017 09:31 pm (UTC)
I like you you differentiate between night and darkness... thank you!
kellyrfineman
Apr. 11th, 2017 06:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Irene!
Mitchell Linda
Apr. 8th, 2017 01:25 am (UTC)
oooooooooooooh, letting the darkness shine
Oh, you defiant one! How wonderful that you stood up to the notion of dark as something not shiny and magnificent as it really is. LOVE it. Bravo.
kellyrfineman
Apr. 11th, 2017 06:25 pm (UTC)
Re: oooooooooooooh, letting the darkness shine
Thanks Linda!!
Sara Lewis Holmes
Apr. 8th, 2017 01:29 am (UTC)
This is night how I know it, too---filled with pinpricks of light---and you could say also even with poetry friends... How lovely to weave it other poets, too, and their light.
kellyrfineman
Apr. 11th, 2017 06:25 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Sara!
Mary Lee Hahn
Apr. 13th, 2017 11:11 pm (UTC)
I love that your darkness shines!!
kellyrfineman
Apr. 21st, 2017 02:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Mary Lee!
Mary Lee Hahn
Apr. 13th, 2017 11:11 pm (UTC)
And that Frost found his way in your poem!!
kellyrfineman
Apr. 21st, 2017 02:30 pm (UTC)
Frost is sneaky that way.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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