Walks with poets: Rilke

What poets or poems accompany you on your walks? What poems express what perhaps one might feel on a walk? I might post such poems once in a while. Walks are those moments when I feel connected to the sounds and sights around me. Especially in the mornings when I gather strength for the coming day, being here and now, in my surroundings as I move through them, is important.

A Walk

My eyes already touch the sunny hill.
going far beyond the road I have begun,
So we are grasped by what we cannot grasp;
it has an inner light, even from a distance-

and changes us, even if we do not reach it,
into something else, which, hardly sensing it,
we already are; a gesture waves us on
answering our own wave…
but what we feel is the wind in our faces.

Translated by Robert Bly


This is more or less how I feel every day when I walk, on my way to work or elsewhere, breathing in the calm air of daybreak. I feel different coming *back* after the day ends- I’m usually too drained to think much then but my walks at the start of the day are filled with contemplative peace, the sounds of the world as everything around gets on with the new day. I am constantly filled with encouragement that comes from within. My daydreams and plans sustain me and make me positive about the day ahead. I am constantly touched by what I cannot see but what is just as real to me as what I can see. In a world that sometimes feels barren, harried, shallow with shallow judgements and gossip and in a world full of people who tend to drain me with their negative energies, to me, this sort of understanding and experience is vital and brings an inner peace, a sort of strength. The meeting, the change I yearn for is always within me, but I have to keep realising it and feel that wind. I absolutely love this poem for the way it captures something that’s both ephemeral and constant to me.

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