Portrait of the poet Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926)
Artist: Leonid Osipovich Pasternak (1862-1945)
Rainer Maria Rilke
Solitude is like a rain.
It rises from the sea toward evening;
from plains, which are distant and remote,
it goes to the sky, which always has it.
And only then it falls from the sky on the city.
It rains down in the in-between hours,
when all the crooked streets turn toward morning,
and when the bodies, which found nothing,
leave each other feeling sad and disappointed;
and when the people, who hate each other,
have to sleep together in one bed:
then solitude flows with the rivers . . .
by Wendell Berry
- How much poison are you willing
to eat for the success of the free
market and global trade? Please
name your preferred poisons.
- For the sake of goodness, how much
evil are you willing to do?
Fill in the following blanks
with the names of your favorite
evils and acts of hatred.
- What sacrifices are you prepared
to make for culture and civilization?
Please list the monuments, shrines,
and works of art you would
most willingly destroy.
- In the name of patriotism and
the flag, how much of our beloved
land are you willing to desecrate?
List in the following spaces
the mountains, rivers, towns, farms
you could most readily do without.
- State briefly the ideas, ideals, or hopes,
the energy sources, the kinds of security,
for which you would kill a child.
Name, please, the children whom
you would be willing to kill.
With thanks to https://www.brainpickings.org/2019/08/14/wendell-berry-questionnaire-amanda-palmer/