Thursday, July 1, 2010

Encounter With Greatness

. . . What is extraordinary and eternal
does not want to be bent by us.

I mean the angel who appeared to the wrestler
of the Old Testament,
And when the wrestler's sinews grew long
like metal strings,
he felt them under his fingers
like chords of deep music.

Whoever was beaten by this angel,
who often simply declined to fight,
went away proud and strengthened
and great from that harsh hand
that kneaded him as if to change his shape.

Winning does not tempt that man.
This is how he grows.
By being defeated decisively
by constantly greater beings . . .

-- Maria Rilke (title unknown)

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