Who has not sat, afraid, before his heart’s curtain? – Rainer Maria Rilke, from “The Fourth Elegy,” Duino Elegies. Trans. Stephen Mitchell. (Vintage; Bilingual edition October 6, 2009) Originally published 1923.
It sometimes happens that my hands grow conscious of each other, or else my weary face takes refuge in them. — Rainer Maria Rilke, from “The Second Elegy,” The Divine Elegies. (W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition June 17, 2006) Originally published 1923.
Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems. — Rainer Maria Rilke
I love the dark hours of my being. My mind deepens into them. There I can find, as in old letters, the days of my life, already lived, and held like a legend, and understood. Then the knowing comes: I can open to another life that’s wide and timeless. So I am sometimes like a… Continue reading Rainer Maria Rilke
To Lou Andreas-Salome I held myself too open, I forgot that outside not just things exist and animals fully at ease in themselves, whose eyes reach from their lives’ roundedness no differently than portraits do from frames; forgot that I with all I did incessantly crammed looks into myself; looks, opinion, curiosity. Who knows: perhaps… Continue reading Rainer Maria Rilke
Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love. — Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet. Sidgwick and Jackson (January 1, 1945)
I, 45 You come and go. The doors swing closed ever more gently, almost without a shudder. Of all those who move through the quiet houses, you are the quietest. We become so accustomed to you, we no longer look up when your shadow falls over the book we are reading and makes it glow.… Continue reading Rainer Maria Rilke