Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926)

Sonnets to Orpheus II, 7

                        Flowers, kinfolk at last to arranging hands,
                        (hands of young women, long ago and now), you
                        who lay on the garden table, often from rim to
                        rim, weary and mildly wounded
                        awaiting the water that would revive you
                        from death, already begun---, and now
                        lifted again between the streaming poles
                        of feeling fingers, that have even more power
                        to do good than you guessed, weightless ones,
                        when you came to in the jug, cooling slowly
                        and giving off the warmth of young women
                        like confessions, like thick, fatiguing sins
                        the act of plucking brought on, relating you again
                        to those who ally themselves with your blooming.


deep and strong and strange