She sat just like the others at the table.
But on second glance, she seemed to hold her cup
a little differently as she picked it up.
She smiled once. It was almost painful.
And when they finished and it was time to stand
and slowly, as chance selected them, they left
and moved through many rooms (they talked and laughed),
I saw her. She was moving far behind
the others, absorbed, like someone who will soon
have to sing before a large assembly;
upon her eyes, which were radiant with joy,
light played as on the surface of a pool.
She followed slowly, taking a long time,
as though there were some obstacle in the way;
and yet: as though, once it was overcome,
she would be beyond all walking, and would fly
Rainer Maria Rilke
Born: 4 December 1875, Prague, Czechia
Died: 29 December 1926, Montreux, Switzerland
Rilke was a poet and novelist, widely recognised as one of the most lyrically intense German-language poets writing both verse and lyrical prose. His works invoke images that focus on the difficulty of communion with the ineffable in an age of disbelief, anxiety, and solitude.