Dear darkening ground, divestment in Norway / by Melanie Ida Chopko

This week I was reacquainted with Rilke's Book of Hours, the collection of poems that enchanted me as a young girl, translated by my now teacher and friend Joanna Macy alongside Anita Barrows.

And reading about the epic fossil fuel divestment campaign in Norway, the certainty and uncertainty of the world unraveling under climate change, I went back and re-read a beloved poem, Rilke consoling God.

Dear darkening ground,
you've endured so patiently the walls we've built,
perhaps you'll give the cities one more hour

and grant the churches and cloisters two.
And those that labor—let their work
grip them another five hours, or seven,

before you become forest again, and water, and widening wilderness
in that hour of inconceivable terror
when you take back your name
from all things.

Just give me a little more time!

I want to love the things
as no one has thought to love them,
until they're worthy of you and real.

Book of Hours, I 61

You can hear more of Joanna reading the poems, here.