My feet will want to walk to where you are sleeping

Dead Woman

Pablo Neruda

If suddenly you do not exist,
if suddenly you no longer live,
I shall live on.

I do not dare,
I do not dare to write it, if you die.
I shall live on.



No, forgive me.
If you no longer live,
if you, beloved, my love,
if you have died,
all the leaves will fall in my breast,
it will rain on my soul night and day,
the snow will burn my heart,
I shall walk with frost and fire and death and snow,
my feet will want to walk to where you are sleeping,
but I shall stay alive,

because above all things
you wanted me indomitable,
and, my love, because you know that I am not only a man
but all mankind.

To Know the Dark

To go into the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark, go without sight,
And find that dark, too blooms and sings,
And is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.


"To Know the Dark" by Wendell Berry, from The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry. © Counterpoint, 1999.


Der Tod ist groß.Wir sind die Seinen lachenden Munds. Wenn wir uns mitten im Leben meinen, wagt er zu weinen mitten in uns.

Rainer Maria Rilke


Wenn uns eigene Worte fehlen, können die der großen PoetInnen Trost spenden. Die Ästhetik wie das Zeitlose der Kunst und der Poesie berührt und beruhigt.

Ich habe dieses Gedicht von Rilke als Geschenk erfahren, als ich einem lieben Menschen von meinem Verlust erzählte. Ein passendes Gedicht. und eine schöne Geste wider der Sprachlosigkeit des Unausprechlichen.




kindness grief trauer


von Naomi Shihab Nye, 1952

Before you know what kindness really is you must lose things, feel the future dissolve in a moment like salt in a weakened broth. What you held in your hand, what you counted and carefully saved, all this must go so you know how desolate the landscape can be between the regions of kindness. How you ride and ride thinking the bus will never stop, the passengers eating maize and chicken will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho lies dead by the side of the road. You must see how this could be you, how he too was someone who journeyed through the night with plans and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing. You must wake up with sorrow. You must speak to it till your voice catches the thread of all sorrows and you see the size of the cloth. Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore, only kindness that ties your shoes and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread, only kindness that raises its head from the crowd of the world to say It is I you have been looking for, and then goes with you everywhere like a shadow or a friend.

From Words Under the Words: Selected Poems. Copyright © 1995 by Naomi Shihab Nye.