— Rainer Maria Rilke Austrian poet and writer 1875 - 1926
Number 2 (as translated by Cliff Crego)
I am much too alone in this world, yet not alone enough
to truly consecrate the hour.
I am much too small in this world, yet not small enough
to be to you just object and thing,
dark and smart.
I want my free will and want it accompanying
the path which leads to action;
and want during times that beg questions,
where something is up,
to be among those in the know,
or else be alone.
(as translated by Annemarie S. Kidder)
Das Stunden-Buch (The Book of Hours) (1905)
Source: Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God
Context: I am too alone in the world, and yet not alone enough
to make every hour holy.
I am too small in the world, and yet not tiny enough
just to stand before you like a thing,
dark and shrewd.
I want my will, and I want to be with my will
as it moves towards deed;
and in those quiet, somehow hesitating times,
when something is approaching,
I want to be with those who are wise
or else alone.