Sunday Poem | “As once the winged energy of delight”, by Rainer Maria Rilke

“As once the winged energy of delight”, by one of the greatest German poets of his time, Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926), explores some great ideas that I invite you to ponder upon, like embracing the energy and delight of living beyond fear, or the challenge of trusting our instincts and power to accomplish great things in the face of the unknown.

This Sunday Poem marks the last Sunday of my favorite month of the year and it couldn’t be just any poem. It’s one that made me think a lot about my own conscious and creative journey, about how fears, doubts, courage and trust all get to live together in the same boat, that rides its way to new challenges and achievements.

As once the winged energy of delight”, by one of the greatest German poets of his time, Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926), explores some great ideas that I invite you to ponder upon, like embracing the energy and delight of living beyond fear, or the challenge of trusting our instincts and power to accomplish great things in the face of the unknown.

A delightful thing, the instinct

Sometimes, when I find myself in various situations that ask for a little courage, I think of childhood, for whatever reason. My mind transports itself into a time when I wouldn’t think through everything I did, through every decision I had to make or every jump I had to take.

In some areas of my childhood, like how I’d play and explore the surrounding world, I was less conscious about the risks my fears would make me face and that sort of helped me live a little more freely (at least, that’s how I felt). Probably that’s what happens when you don’t have all the information on possible consequences, haha.

It was like I had a “winged energy of delight”, you see? I didn’t think too much of what scares me, I’d rather push that away or ignore it, and that’s because I didn’t think too much of the risks. I was more keen on experiencing life through playfulness and delight, than through fear. 

As we grow older, many of our fears that we have had since we were kids are now more present and often stay in our way to great achievements. “Am I good enough? Am I prepared enough? Isn’t that too big of a risk? What is on the other side of this leap I’m taking?” and so on.

Practically, the things that were once instinctive to us are now part of a much more rationalized process, that sometimes translates into bumps in the road or fear of our own possibilities.

As sweet and exciting the childhood might have been in terms of play & conquer games, thing is, we can’t control everything that happens to us, but how we respond. And that’s why I’m grateful for the present time and all the conscious work I’m doing on myself, because I learned and I’m still learning to trust and act by my instincts more, but also to stay aware about what I’m able to do and what my next improvement should be.

Without further ado, I’ll leave the poem to your own understanding and interpretation, in the hopes you find some sense to add to your conscious and creative journey.

Enjoy the read and happy Sunday, beautiful soul!

As Once the Winged Energy of Delight

As once the winged energy of delight
carried you over childhood’s dark abysses,
now beyond your own life build the great
arch of unimagined bridges.

Wonders happen if we can succeed
in passing through the harshest danger;
but only in a bright and purely granted
achievement can we realize the wonder.

To work with Things in the indescribable
relationship is not too hard for us;
the pattern grows more intricate and subtle,
and being swept along is not enough.

Take your practiced powers and stretch them out
until they span the chasm between two
contradictions…For the god
wants to know himself in you.


Thank you for reading! If you liked today’s choice of verses, share it with your own friends and community. Who knows who could benefit today from a bit if inspiration, right? 🙂

You can check here the other Sunday Poems we shared the previous weeks.

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