Rainer Maria Rilke quotes

Rainer Maria Rilke photo
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Rainer Maria Rilke

Birthdate: 4. December 1875
Date of death: 29. December 1926

René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke , better known as Rainer Maria Rilke , was a Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist. He is "widely recognized as one of the most lyrically intense German-language poets". He wrote both verse and highly lyrical prose. Several critics have described Rilke's work as "mystical". His writings include one novel, several collections of poetry and several volumes of correspondence in which he invokes images that focus on the difficulty of communion with the ineffable in an age of disbelief, solitude and anxiety. These themes position him as a transitional figure between traditional and modernist writers.

Rilke travelled extensively throughout Europe and, in his later years, settled in Switzerland — settings that were key to the genesis and inspiration for many of his poems. While Rilke is most known for his contributions to German literature, over 400 poems were originally written in French and dedicated to the canton of Valais in Switzerland. Among English-language readers, his best-known works include the poetry collections Duino Elegies and Sonnets to Orpheus , the semi-autobiographical novel The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge , and a collection of ten letters that was published after his death under the title Letters to a Young Poet . In the later 20th century, his work found new audiences through use by New Age theologians and self-help authors and frequent quotations by television programs, books and motion pictures. In the United States, Rilke remains among the more popular, best-selling poets.

Works

Letters to a Young Poet
Letters to a Young Poet
Rainer Maria Rilke
Duino Elegies
Duino Elegies
Rainer Maria Rilke
The Book of Images
The Book of Images
Rainer Maria Rilke
Sonnets to Orpheus
Sonnets to Orpheus
Rainer Maria Rilke
New Poems
Rainer Maria Rilke
The Book of Hours
The Book of Hours
Rainer Maria Rilke
The Panther
Rainer Maria Rilke

Quotes Rainer Maria Rilke

„Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.“

—  Rainer Maria Rilke

from poem Go to the Limits of Your Longing.

Appears in movie Jojo Rabbit.
Variant: Let everything happen to you
Beauty and terror
Just keep going
No feeling is final

„For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.“

—  Rainer Maria Rilke

Letter Seven (14 May 1904)
Letters to a Young Poet (1934)
Variant: For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been given to us, the ultimate, the final problem and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation.
Source: The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke
Context: People have (with the help of conventions) oriented all their solutions toward the easy and toward the easiest side of the easy; but it is clear that we must hold to what is difficult; everything alive holds to it, everything in Nature grows and defends itself in its own way and is characteristically and spontaneously itself, seeks at all costs to be so and against all opposition. We know little, but that we must hold to what is difficult is a certainty that will not forsake us; it is good to be solitary, for solitude is difficult; that something is difficult must be a reason the more for us to do it.
To love is good, too: love being difficult. For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.

Citát „I live my life in widening circles that reach out across the world.“

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„Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.“

—  Rainer Maria Rilke, book Letters to a Young Poet

Letter One (17 February 1903)
Letters to a Young Poet (1934)
Context: No one can advise or help you — no one. There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.

„For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror
which we are barely able to endure, and it amazes us so,
because it serenely disdains to destroy us.
Every angel is terrible.“

—  Rainer Maria Rilke, book Duino Elegies

First Elegy (as translated by Stephen Mitchell)
Source: Duino Elegies (1922)
Context: Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the angels'
hierarchies? and even if one of them
pressed me against his heart: I would be consumed
in that overwhelming existence. For beauty is nothing
but the beginning of terror, which we still are just able to endure,
and we are so awed because it serenely disdains
to annihilate us. Every angel is terrifying.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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