All is One

June 4, 2008

All is One

Once, at the edge of the woods,
we stand together alone
and are festive, like flames,
feeling: All is One.

We stop to embrace tightly;
we will, in these listening lands,
through the soft robes,
grow like a branch beside a branch.

An awakening breath sways
the clusters of oleander:
Lo, we are no longer different,
we ourselves are swaying too.

My soul feels
that we are groping at the gates
and asks while at rest:
Did you lead me here?

And you smile at this
so wonderfully, blithely,
and soon we wander further:
Gates are opening…

And we hesitate no longer,
our way is not painful;
it will be a long alley
out of the day before.

Rainer Maria Rilke
(Translated from German by Gwee Li Sui)

Is this a love poem or a metaphysical parable? 2 people stand at the edge of their familiar world and decide to walk well beyond because of one similar truth they sense: “All is One”. This oneness is both an actual goal and a reality born within that decision. The 2 lovers aid each other’s growth and feel each other change and, in the bonding, transform the very terrain in which they move.

This poem, like life, continually sets before its dwellers a new limit: the wood’s end, nature’s end, physicality’s end, the soul’s end, and pain’s end. Its lovers are called inwardly to transcend each of them, one at a time, with no more than the felt promise of companionship from a fellow traveller. It is an elegantly hopeful poem that warms my heart often.

Gwee Li Sui

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One Response to “All is One”

  1. zieniewicz Says:

    Gwee,
    I think it is a love poem. When two souls become ome as in marriage. True, complete, oneness that is only obtained in the sacaredness of marriage. It is one of the most beautiful poems i have ever read. thanks for sharing


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