Having enjoyed my usual year-end ritual of reading a Rilke poem, it occurs to me that starting off a new year with one would be pretty cool as well. So here’s one from his Book of Hours, as translated by Barrows and Macy. The last line especially gives me chills, despite (or perhaps because of) the sense of ominous foreboding:
A great leaf, that God and you and I
have covered with writing
turns now, overhead, in strange hands.
We feel the sweep of it like a wind.
We see the brightness of a new page
where everything yet can happen.
Unmoved by us, the fates take its measure
and look at one another, saying nothing.