“I have faith in nights,” Rilke wrote, his eyes
on the great power he felt moving beside him.
He was one of many, a slender man alone
on an endless horizon where the chances
of thicker men are better. Thick, thin, the power
he felt makes no distinction now, leveling
all it comes across without bias or favour,
pulling in everything to fire’s bright circle
of light, fencing in the world, trumping
darkness. But Rilke’s night, the darkness
he came from, endures, it gathers
its own power, sees itself through to dawn,
when it’s safe to shut its eyes.

* After “You darkness,” by Rainer Maria Rilke

Please note that works on the Canadian Literature website may not be the final versions as they appear in the journal, as additional editing may take place between the web and print versions. If you are quoting reviews, articles, and/or poems from the Canadian Literature website, please indicate the date of access.