I am not a massive fan of poems, but I do keep a book of Rilke (songs to Orpheus) at the top of my book pile.  I would love to be able to know these poems and use them as inspirational mantras.  But committing and words or verse to memory seems to be a mountainous task for me.  Words feel like sand in my hands.

Two poems do shine as favourites to me.  One is ‘pathways’ by Rilke.  The other ‘the windhover’  is by Gerard Manley Hopkins:

The Windhover

To Christ our Lord

I caught this morning morning’s minion, king –
dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird, – the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!

No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermilion.