It’s O.K. for the rich and the lucky to keep still;
No one wants to hear about them anyway.
But those in need have to step forward,
Have to say, “I am blind,”
Or, “I’m about to go blind,”
Or, “Nothing is well with me,”
Or “I have a child who is sick,”
Or, “Right there, I am sort of glued together…”
And probably that doesn’t do anything either.
They have to sing. If they didn’t sing
Everyone would walk past, as if they were fences or trees.
That’s where you can hear good singing.
People really are strange,
They prefer to hear castratos in boy choirs.
But God himself comes and stays a long time
When the world of half-people starts to bore him.
Rainer Maria Rilke in
Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, Robert Bly, ed and translator.