“A Walk” by Rilke


My eyes already touch the sunny hill.
going far ahead of the road I have begun.
So we are grasped by what we cannot grasp;
it has inner light, even from a distance-

and charges us, even if we do not reach it,
into something else, which, hardly sensing it,
we already are; a gesture waves us on
answering our own wave…
but what we feel is the wind in our faces.

The poet is walking towards the hill but his vision reaches the hill far ahead of the physical distance covered by his feet. The inner light of the hill grasps his own soul and transforms it spiritually much before his own inner luminescence reaches it. It is as though the hill is making a gesture of kinship with him in response to his own gesture. All that he feels is the gentle wind touching his face.

Here, sensory impressions are used to create beautiful images. The hill is personified attributing to it human qualities such as “charges”, “gesture”, “grasping”. A beautiful combination of the visual and tactile elements recreates the situation in which the poet re-experiences the intensity of the moment as “emotion recollected in tranquility

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