Whyte on Rilke’s “The Swan”

I return periodically to David Whyte’s discussion of Rilke’s poem, The Swan. Both the poem and Whyte’s commentary come close to the heart of this time of creative reflection and exploration we are having this Summer.

This clumsy living that moves lumbering
as if in ropes through what is not done,
reminds us of the awkward way the swan walks.

And to die, which is the letting go
of the ground we stand on and cling to every day,
is like the swan, when he nervously lets himself down
into the water, which receives him gaily
and which flows joyfully under
and after him, wave after wave,
while the swan, unmoving and marvelously calm,
is pleased to be carried, each moment more fully grown,
more like a king, further and further on.

He ends with Derek Walcott’s Love After Love. More on that another day.

By | 2015-07-10T10:56:45+00:00 July 10th, 2015|Categories: Poetry|0 Comments

About the Author:

Marc’s career spans 35 years in business, design, education and technology. His work as designer, researcher, and educator has put him on the frontier of applying design methods to social and strategic questions. He is a founding faculty member of the Masters in Design for Social Innovation program at the School of Visual Arts in New York, and Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Practice at the Carnegie Mellon University Graduate School of Design. Marc’s interests include cultural immersion, language, cooking and photography.

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