Quotes By Sonnets to Orpheus

“Let This Darkness Be a Bell Tower

Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,

what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.

In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.

And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.”


“Only he whose bright lyre
has sounded in shadows
may, looking onward, restore
his infinite praise.

Only he who has eaten
poppies with the dead
will not lose ever again
the gentlest chord.

Though the image upon the pool
often grows dim:
Know and be still.

Inside the Double World
all voices become
eternally mild.”


“In spite of all the farmer's work and worry, he can't reach down to where the seed is slowly transmuted into summer. The earth bestows.”


“Please don’t, above all,
plant me in your heart.

I grow too quick.”


“Amid these fading and decaying things, be the glass that rings out as it's breaking.”


“And if the world has forgotten you,
say this to the stable earth: I run.
Tell the rushing water: I exist.”


“Sonnets to Orpheus, Part One, XII

Bless the spirit that makes connections,
for truly we live in what we imagine.
Clocks move along side our real life
with steps that are ever the same.

Though we do not know our exact location,
we are held in place by what links us.
Across trackless distances
antennas sense each other.

Pure attention, the essence of the powers!
Distracted by each day's doing,
how can we hear the signals?

Even as the farmer labors
there where the seed turns into summer,
it is not his work. It is Earth who gives.”


“All that we have gained, the machine threatens-
once a tool assumes a force of its own.
Instead of letting us get used to mastery, for buildings more severe it cuts the stone.”