This is my absolute favorite poem.
I first came across it, in its original language, when I was studying Russian.
Fyodor Tyutchev‘s poem, “Silentium!” is stunning in Russian, but thanks to an excellent translation, by Vladimir Nabokov, it is as stunning in English.
Ever since I first read it, the poem has been sitting, immovable, in the back of my mind. It begs re-reading time and time again—it demands and creates stillness in one’s soul.
But don’t take my word for it, read it yourself:
Speak not, lie hidden, and conceal
the way you dream, the things you feel.
Deep in your spirits let them rise
akin to stars in crystal skies
that set before the night is blurred:
delight in them and speak no word.
How can a heart expression find?
How should another know your mind?
Will he discern what quickens you?
A thought once uttered is untrue.
Dimmed is the fountainhead when stirred:
drink at the source and speak no word.
Live in your inner self alone
within your soul a world has grown,
the magic of veiled thoughts that might
be blinded by the outer light,
drowned in the noise of day, unheard…
take in their song and speak no word.
~ Fyodor Tyutchev
It’s arresting in its beauty, and reading it prompts a quiet state of reflection.
Read this when you need some motivation to meditate. Read it and let the words unravel in your mind, and of course, speak no word.
Author: Kathryn Muyskens
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock