“And books are yours,
Within whose silent chambers treasure lies
Preserved from age to age; more precious far
Than that accumulated store of gold
And orient gems, which, for a day of need,
The Sultan hides deep in ancestral tombs.
These hoards of truth you can unlock at will.”—
“Maybe that’s why the most vivid scenes of my early childhood are woven into the pages that I read in my favorite books, or that my mother read to me, at bedtime. I know that some observers might have looked at the two of us and thought we were alone – no father, no husband, no siblings, no visible web of family – but it never felt that way, because we were surrounded by the people in the books that I loved, and they were as alive to me as the other children in the playground; and often more consoling. Narnia seems almost more real, as a memory, than learning geography at infant school, because when I looked at the map that my teacher pinned to the wall, I was certain I could see the ocean that the Dawn Treader voyaged across, or the high mountains that were home to Aslan.”—Daphne by Justine Picardie
“Come let us watch the sun go down
and walk in twilight through the orchard’s green.
Does it not seem as if we had for long
collected, saved and harbored within us
old memories? To find releases and seek
new hopes, remembering half-forgotten joys,
mingled with darkness coming from within,
as we randomly voice our thoughts aloud
wandering beneath these harvest-laden trees
reminiscent of Dürer woodcuts, branches
which, bent under the fully ripened fruit,
wait patiently, trying to outlast, to
serve another season’s hundred days of toil,
straining, uncomplaining, by not breaking
but succeeding, even though the burden
should at times seem almost past endurance.
Not to falter! Not to be found wanting!
Thus must it be, when willingly you strive
throughout a long and uncomplaining life,
committed to one goal: to give yourself!
And silently to grow and to bear fruit.”—
Rainer Maria Rilke, “The Apple Orchard,” trans. Albert Ernest Flemming (see Rilke’s earlier draft here)
this is my favorite Rilke poem ever I think! I’ve loved it since the moment I read it.