Welcoming April with Rainer Maria Rilke

April is National Poetry Month!

Kergord Woods, Shetland Islands

Spring, with its renewed energy after a Winter’s rest, awakens our hearts to the words of poetic inspiration. April invites us to celebrate its arrival with a reading of poetry.

Poetry is one of the oldest creative endeavors – an art form that has the benefit of diversity. Haiku, sonnet, spoken word, epic, limerick, ode and so much more. Each generation adds to the collection that has come through the centuries.

With poetry, we explore our innermost thoughts, feelings and impulses. We experience the world around us through vivid descriptions and the sound of words reverberating within our souls.

Join me as I recite the poem “In April” by Rainer Maria Rilke

In April

Rainer Maria Rilke – 1875-1926

Again the woods are odorous, the lark
Lifts on upsoaring wings the heaven gray
That hung above the tree-tops, veiled and dark,
Where branches bare disclosed the empty day.

After long rainy afternoons an hour
Comes with its shafts of golden light and flings
Them at the windows in a radiant shower,
And rain drops beat the panes like timorous wings.

Then all is still. The stones are crooned to sleep
By the soft sound of rain that slowly dies;
And cradled in the branches, hidden deep
In each bright bud, a slumbering silence lies.

Kergord Woods, Shetland Islands

Kergord Woods

Amidst Shetland Island’s wild and beautiful scenery, with its deeply indented coasts and enclosed steep hills, stands a solitary forest. Kergord Woods, located in Weisdale, is the only substantial woodland in the Shetland Islands. Planted between 1909 – 1921, the trees thrive, despite harsh winter weather, and invite woodland birds to make their home among their branches.

Published by Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

36 thoughts on “Welcoming April with Rainer Maria Rilke

  1. Well. I only found out yesterday about April being poetry month. And only now about Rilke’s work. Previously he was just a name to me. I see I have a lot of discovering to do! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am delighted you joined me in reciting In April. The first time that I encountered Rainer Maria Rilke is when I read this quote from “Letters to a Young Poet”

      “Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.”

      I want to explore his biography. I know that he traveled to Moscow in around 1898 and met Leo Tolstoy. I would have loved to eavesdrop on that conversation.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Well grasped! Thank you, dear Rebecca. Rilke is a precious one to let the smell of Spring in our soul. Indeed poems are one of the oldest topics in the minds of humans, and honestly, now, here in Germany, it helps me imagine it! Because from the beginning of Spring last week, the weather threw itself backwards into winter! Also, patience has been required.
    If you let me, a small remark: when I scroll down to read your article, the main title comes along with it, and it is a little hard for me to continue reading the text. 😁💖🤗

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your lovely comments, Alaedin. And thank you for your comment regarding the title. That is part of the template, but if you visit my page on your mobile, the title remains in place. As well, the title remains in place when you read my posts in the WordPress Reader. Hope that helps. Have a wonderful day.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I am delighted that you enjoyed “In April.” I hope that more people will recite poetry because it gives such a marvelous sense of well-being. W.H. Auden says it best. “A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.”

      And where there is love, there is hope!!

      Liked by 3 people

  3. I love your vocal phrasing in this reading of the poem, Rebecca. It is perfection. And the line in the poem about the stones being crooned to sleep by the gentle soft rain is an evocative, ethereal interpretation. Wonderful video.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Babsje for joining me in reciting In April. I enjoy our discussions. When I was preparing to recite Rainer Maria Rilke I watched this brilliant 12 minute video on the poetry of RMR with thoughts on translations. What came through to me was RMR’s ability to bring us into the poem – that we were active participants in the poem.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Many thanks for your heartwarming comments, Dave. Poetry Month, April 2021, I read an article in the New York Times about how poetry in the time of a pandemic and lockdown was a way to seek wellbeing. I love the idea of “vaccine for the soul.”

      “While we herald vaccines as potential saviors from the threat of a devastating virus, Dr. Rosenthal said, “Poetry can serve as a vaccine for the soul.” In a world that is so marred by loss and deprived of pleasure, he believes poetry can help fill in the gaps, offering a brief retreat from a troubled world and hope for a better future.”https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/12/well/mind/national-poetry-month-coronavirus.html

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Many thanks for your support of the poetic verse!! I hope you will explore Rainer Maria Rilke sometime in the future. I just found a selection of his poems on Gutenberg.org.


      From infinite longings finite deeds rise
      As fountains spring toward far-off glowing skies,
      But rushing swiftly upward weakly bend
      And trembling from their lack of power descend–
      So through the falling torrent of our fears
      Our joyous force leaps like these dancing tears.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. I believe you have chosen poetry as a special subject for your subject each month. This one is, of course, well chosen and lovely, The beautiful tree tops bright with golden light and cradled in each leafy branch colorful buds, the stones are even crooned too sleep and so much more beauty in the lines. The videos show birds flying and walking in the green grass and another one showing sheep in the grass in the fields below. I enjoyed all the comments, as well and I found the photo of the gentleman interesting.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I am delighted that you joined me in reciting this poem. The cherry blossom have arrived and the earth has awakened. What better month than April to celebrate poetry. Although I believe that every month and every day is about poetry.

      Liked by 1 person

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