Does Anyone Know Where I Can Find This Rilke Poem?


Doesn’t look like a baller.

It’s four in the morning and I still can’t fall asleep.  Looks like my four mile walk in the afternoon powered me up instead of powering me down.  I’ve always wondered where the Rilke’s epigraph for Gadamer’s Truth and Method comes from.  Is there an English-language collection that contains the following poem?:

Catch only what you’ve thrown yourself,
but when you’re suddenly the catcher of a ball
thrown by an eternal partner
with accurate and measured swing
towards you, to your center, in an arch
from the great bridgebuilding of God:
why catching then becomes a power—
not yours, a world’s.

As an added bonus I’m throwing in a poem by Wislawa Szymborska:

“Four in the Morning”

The hour from night to day.
The hour from side to side.
The hour for those past thirty.

The hour swept clean to the crowing of cocks.
The hour when earth betrays us.
The hour when wind blows from extinguished stars.
The hour of and-what-if-nothing-remains-after-us.

The hollow hour.
Blank, empty.
The very pit of all other hours.

No one feels good at four in the morning.
If ants feel good at four in the morning
–three cheers for the ants. And let five o’clock come
if we’re to go on living.


Here’s a picture I took of Szymborska with Zagajewski, Maj, et al from 2008 (I think).

2 thoughts on “Does Anyone Know Where I Can Find This Rilke Poem?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s