By Ranier Maria Rilke
Submitted by wordley
Date: 2002 May 26
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Possibility of Being

To Ali, who loves Unicorns

This is the creature there has never been
They never knew it, and yet none the less,
they loved the way it moved, its suppleness,
its neck, its very gaze, mild and serene.

Not there, because they loved it, it behaved
as though it were. They always left some space.
And in that clear unpeopled space they saved
it lightly reared its head, with scarce a trace
of not being there. They fed it, not with corn,
but only with the possibility
of being. And that was able to confer such strenght,
its brow put forth a horn. one horn.
Whitely it stole up to a maid....
To be within the silver mirror and in her..