Life goes on... like an echo in the forest...

If We Surrendered to Earth's Intelligence

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2009. 8. 16.










If We Surrendered to Earth's Intelligence



How surely gravity's law,

strong as an ocean current,

takes hold of even the smallest thing

and pulls is toward the heart of the world.


Each thing

each stone, blossom, child

is held in place.

Only we, in our arrogance,

push out beyond what we each belong to

for some empty freedom.


If we surrendered

to earth's intelligence

we could rise up rooted, like trees.


Instead we entangle ourselves

in knots of our own making

and struggle, lonely and confused.


So, like children, we begin again

to learn from the things,

because they are in God's heart;

they have never left him.


This is what the things can teach us:

to fall,

patiently to trust our heaviness.

Even a bird has to do that

before he can fly.



Rainer Maria Rilke






Born in Prague, the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) traveled widely throughout Europe.

On a trip to Russia in 1899,

he was inspired by the Christianity of Leo Tolstoy and the Russian peasants he met.

This poem was written shortly after that trip.