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.
this much belongs to us, to touch each other thus; the gods can grip us more forcefully. The choice is theirs. — Rainer Maria Rilke, from “The Second Elegy,” Duino Elegies, transl. by Edward Snow (North Point Press, 2001)
You darkness, that I come from, I love you more than all the fires that fence in the world, for the fire makes a circle of light for everyone, and then no one outside learns of you. But the darkness pulls in everything: shapes and fires, animals and myself, how easily it gathers them! –… Continue reading Rainer Maria Rilke
Because I never held you close, I hold you forever. ― Rainer Maria Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge. Trans. & ed. Michale Hulse (Penguin Classics, 2009)
But the constellation of his future love has long been moving among the stars. What terror will tear his heart out of the track of its fleeing to place it in perfect submission, under the calm influence of the heavens? —Rainer Maria Rilke, from “Duration of Childhood,” The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, edited… Continue reading Rainer Maria Rilke
You are the second one amidst your loneliness, the quiet center of each monologue: and any circle drawn round you exceeds the tent of time. — Rainer Maria Rilke, from “The Book of the Monkish Life,” First Book; The Book of Hours: Prayers to a Lowly God, trans. Annemarie S. Kidder (Northwestern University Press, 2001)
The deep parts of my life pour onward, as if the river shores were opening out. It seems that things are more like me now, that I can see farther into paintings. I feel closer to what language can’t reach. With my sense, as with birds, I climb into the windy heaven, out of the… Continue reading Rainer Maria Rilke