[…] there are poets who learn from you to say, what you, in your aloneness, are; and they learn through you to live distantness, as the evenings through the great stars become accustomed to eternity. — Rainer Maria Rilke, from “Girls,” The Book of Images transl. by Edward Snow (North Point Press, 1994) Advertisements
You Who Never Arrived You who never arrived in my arms, Beloved, who were lost from the start, I don’t even know what songs would please you. I have given up trying to recognize you in the surging wave of the next moment. All the immense images in me — the far-off, deeply-felt landscape, cities,… Continue reading Rainer Maria Rilke
I hold this to be the highest task of a bond between two people: that each should stand guard over the solitude of the other. ― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet. (Dover Publications May 8, 2002) Originally published 1929.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final. Don’t let yourself lose me. Nearby is the country they call life. You will know it by it’s seriousness. Give me your hand. — Rainer Maria Rilke, from “Go To the Limits of Your Longing,” The Book of Hours: Love… Continue reading Rainer Maria Rilke
I would describe myself like a landscape I’ve studied at length, in detail; like a word I am coming to understand; like a pitcher I pour from at mealtime; like my mother’s face; like a ship that’s carried me when the waters raged. — Rainer Maria Rilke, from “The Book of Monastic Life,” Rilke’s book… Continue reading Rainer Maria Rilke
The trees you planted in childhood have grown too heavy. You cannot bring them along. Give yourselves to the air, to what you cannot hold. — Rainer Maria Rilke, from “Sonnet 4,” The Sonnets of Orpheus, in A Year with Rilke: Daily Readings from the Best of Rainer Maria Rilke, trans. & edited by Anita… Continue reading Rainer Maria Rilke
Streets that I chanced upon, you had just walked down them and vanished. And sometimes, in a shop, the mirrors were still dizzy with your presence and, startled, gave back my too-sudden image. Who knows? Perhaps the same bird echoed through both of us yesterday, separate, in the evening… — Rainer Maria Rilke, from “You… Continue reading Rainer Maria Rilke