Rainer Maria Rilke

1875 - 1926

A Quote by Rainer Maria Rilke on poet

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If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it, blame yourself for you are not poet enough to call forth its riches.

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 - 1926)

Contributed by: Toni

A Quote by Rainer Maria Rilke on dove, serenity, loss, being, abyss, infinite, rilke, mitchell, and erika

Dove that ventured outside,        flying far from the dovecote:
housed and protected again,     one with the day, the night,
knows what serenity is,              for she has felt her wings
pass through all distance and fear       in the course of her wanderings.

The doves that remained at home,     never exposed to loss,
innocent and secure,               cannot know tenderness;
only the won-back heart              can ever be satisfied: free,
through all it has given up,                to rejoice in its mastery. 

Being arches itself                 over the vast abyss.
Ah the ball that we dared,     that we hurled into infinite space,
Doesn’t it fill our hands            differently with its return:
heavier by the weight             of where it has been.

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 - 1926)

Source: Ahead of All Parting: The Selected Poetry and Prose of Rainer Maria Rilke (Modern Library) (English & German Edition)

Contributed by: Nicole

A Quote by Rainer Maria Rilke on song, infinite source, assent, and joy


  Be ahead of all parting, as though it already were
behind you, like the winter that has just gone by.
For among these winters there is one so endlessly winter
that only by wintering through it all will your heart survive.

Be forever dead in Eurydice-more gladly arise
into the seamless life proclaimed in your song.
Here, in the realm of decline, among momentary days,
be the crystal cup that shattered even as it rang.

Be-and yet know the great void where all things begin,
the infinite source of your own most intense vibration,
so that, this once, you may give it your perfect assent.

To all that is used-up, and to all the muffled and dumb
creatures in the world's full reserve, the unsayable sums,
joyfully add yourself, and cancel the count.

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 - 1926)

Source: Duino Elegies and The Sonnets to Orpheus, Pages: Book 2: XIII

Contributed by: Nicole

A Quote by Rainer Maria Rilke on winning, success, growth, defeat, and challenge

Winning does not tempt that man. This is how he grows: by being defeated, decisively, by greater and greater beings.

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 - 1926)

Contributed by: Tsuya

A Quote by Rainer Maria Rilke on life, destiny, and blessing

You life will find its own paths... and that they be good, rich, and wide is what I wish for you, more than I can say.

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 - 1926)

Source: Letters to a Young Poet (Vintage), Pages: 10

Contributed by: Tsuya

A Quote by Rainer Maria Rilke on books and moderation

Of all my books, I find only a few indispensible.

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 - 1926)

Source: Letters to a Young Poet (Vintage), Pages: 16

Contributed by: Tsuya

A Quote by Rainer Maria Rilke on birthing and patience

Everything is gestation and then birthing.

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 - 1926)

Source: Letters to a Young Poet (Vintage), Pages: 23

Contributed by: Tsuya

A Quote by Rainer Maria Rilke on art, artists, sex, creativity, and bliss

The artist's experience lies so unbelievably close to the sexual, to its pain and its pleasure, that the two phenomena are really just different forms of one and the same longing and bliss.

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 - 1926)

Source: Letters to a Young Poet (Vintage), Pages: 25

Contributed by: Tsuya

A Quote by Rainer Maria Rilke on letters and correspondence

I have left a letter from you unanswered for a long time; not because I had forgotten it - on the contrary: it is the kind that one reads again when one finds it among other letters, and I recognize you in it as if you were very near.

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 - 1926)

Source: Letters to a Young Poet (Vintage), Pages: 32

Contributed by: Tsuya

A Quote by Rainer Maria Rilke on hope, expectation, coming, and god

Why don't you think of [God] as the one who is coming, who has been approaching from all eternity, the one who will someday arrive, the ultimate fruit of a tree whose leaves we are?

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 - 1926)

Source: Letters to a Young Poet (Vintage), Pages: 61

Contributed by: Tsuya

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