Memories of A Childhood (Poem by Rainer Maria Rilke)

the Old Poems

Memories of A Childhood
By Rainer Maria Rilke


The darkness hung like richness in the room
When like a dream the mother entered there
And then a glass's tinkle stirred the air
Near where a boy sat in the silent gloom.

The room betrayed the mother — so she felt —
She kissed her boy and questioned "Are you here?"
And with a gesture that he held most dear
Down for a moment by his side she knelt.

Toward the piano they both shyly glanced
For she would sing to him on many a night,
And the child seated in the fading light
Would listen strangely as if half entranced,

His large eyes fastened with a quiet glow
Upon the hand which by her ring seemed bent
And slowly wandering o'er the white keys went
Moving as though against a drift of snow.

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