Tuesday, August 11, 2009

learn the transformations

don paterson

silent comrade of the distances,
know that space dilates with your own breath;
ring out, as a bell into the earth
from the dark rafters of its own high place –

then watch what feeds on you grow strong again.
learn the transformations through and through:
what in your life has most tormented you?
if the water's sour, turn it into wine.

our senses cannot fathom this night, so
be the meaning of their strange encounter;
at their crossing, be the radiant centre.

and should the world itself forget your name
say this to the still earth: i flow.
say this to the quick stream: i am.

from orpheus: a version of rilke's die sonette an orpheus (london: faber and faber, 2006).


  1. Ah - be the meaning - be the centre. I read this and feel nourished. Thank you Steven.

  2. bonnie aren't those words so affirming?!!! "say this to the still earth: i flow". that's one small part of the name of this blog. it's a large part of what i do. be the meaning. be the centre. have a lovely day!! steven

  3. Steven you have cool blog here. Just stumbled by accident, and wooha you are from Canada too. Cheers. Anna :)

  4. Such a uplifting post with these words and image..."be the meaning"... yes! And your King Crimson viewing--excellent choice :o)

  5. hi anna, thanks for visiting and thanks for your thoughtful comment. yep, this is a canadian blog!!! wooha!! have a peaceful day. steven

  6. hi tracy - thanks for the nice comment. i'm glad that it was a useful post for you. crimson?! a girl?!! i've heard there are girls who like crimson!!! how cool. i've followed them since the mid-seventies but really i listen to robert fripp's solo music now. i'm older so it fits my more peaceful and introspective frame of mind!! have a lovely day in norway!! steven