Your first word of all was light,
and time began. Then for long you were silent.
Your second word was man, and fear began,
which grips us still.
Are you about to speak again?
I don’t want your third word.
—Ranier Maria Rilke. Your First Word Was Light. Ranier Maria Rilke, From The Book of Hours I, 44
Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) has been called “the greatest German poet of the twentieth century” (The Economist). I’m going to bypass writing a short biography of the poet and just point you here instead.