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The Greatest Happiness
(For Rainier Maria Rilke and Protege)
by Michael Escoubas

About your sensitive spirit,
so essential to your art
yet dark as winter rains, you write,
This waiting makes it always
harder to begin. You often
felt like a sad and repugnant
caterpillar. I feel like your
protégé, Franz Kappus must
have felt. He found in your letters
an artist's humanity, a willingness
to bare your soul about depression
and writer's block. But beyond
these sufferings the greatest joy,
knocking as one begging entry
at my door, is not the poem
itself, it is the great surprise
that descends like angels from
within: that happiness of being
a beginner again and yet again.


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