As we move officially into fall, here’s a melancholy Rainer Maria Rilke poem about falling leaves. It reminds us that, although we all must fall—not only the leaves—“there is one who holds this falling/ endlessly gently in his hands.”
By Rainer Maria Rilke
Trans. M.D. Herter Norton
The leaves are falling, falling as from way off,
as though far gardens withered in the skies;
they are falling with denying gestures.
And in the night the heavy earth is falling
from all the stars down into loneliness.
We all are falling. This hand falls.
And look at others: it is in them all.
And yet there is one who holds this falling
endlessly gently in his hands.