Rainer Maria Rilke, full name René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke
Your doubt can become a good quality if you train it. It must become knowing, it must become criticism.
Your 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.
You, you only, exist. We pass away, till at last, our passing is so immense that you arise: beautiful moment, in all your suddenness, arising in love, or enchanted in the contraction of work. To you I belong, however time may wear me away. From you to you I go commanded. In between the garland is hanging in chance; but if you take it up and up and up: look: all becomes festival!
Young people -it is obvious -cannot achieve such a relationship, but they can, if they understand their life properly, grow up slowly to such happiness and prepare themselves for it. They must not forget, when they love, that they are beginners, bunglers of life, apprentices in love- must learn love, and that like all learning wants peace, patience, and composure.
Young people, who are beginners in everything, cannot yet know love: they have to learn it.
You, which I'll not say that I lie awake at night weeping, whose nature makes me tired like a cradle. You who do not tell me when he wakes up because of me: how, if we fraudulently extracted this splendor without relieving us? View the lovers, if only began the confession, as soon as they're lying.
You, God, who live next door-- If at times, through the long night, I trouble you with my urgent knocking- this is why: I hear you breathe so seldom. I know you're all alone in that room. If you should be thirsty, there's no one to get you a glass of water. I wait listening, always. Just give me a sign! I'm right here.
You, sent out beyond your recall... go to the limits of your longing. Flare up like flame and make big shadows. Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
You, Beloved, who are all the gardens I have ever gazed at, longing. An open window in a country house-and you almost stepped out, pensive, to meet me. Streets that I chanced upon,
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, towers, and bridges, and un-suspected turns in the path, and those powerful lands that were once pulsing with the life of the gods-- all rise within me to mean you, who forever elude me.
You must give birth to your images. They are the future waiting to be born. Fear not the strangeness you feel. The future must enter you long before it happens. Just wait for the birth, for the the hour of the new clarity.
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! - powers and people - and it is possible a great energy is moving near me. I have faith in nights.
You have had many and great sadnesses, which passed. And you say that even this passing was hard for you and put you out of sorts. But, please, consider whether these great sadnesses have not rather gone right through the center of yourself? Whether much in you has not altered, whether you have not somewhere, at some point of your being, undergone a change when you were sad?
You are not too old and it is not too late to dive into your increasing depths where life calmly gives out its own secret
You are so young; you stand before beginnings. I would like to beg of you, dear friend, as well as I can, to have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.
With poems one accomplishes so little when one writes them early. One should hold off and gather sense and sweetness a whole life long, a long life if possible, and then, right at the end, one could perhaps write ten lines that are good.
World was in the face of the beloved--,but suddenly it poured out and was gone: world is outside, world cannot be grasped. Why didn't I, from the full, beloved face as I raised it to my lips, why didn't I drink world, so near that I couldn't almost taste it? Ah, I drank. Insatiably I drank. But I was filled up also, with too much world, and, drinking, I myself ran over.
Winning does not tempt that man. This is how he grows: by being defeated, decisively, by greater and greater beings.
With nothing can one approach a work of art so little as with critical words: they always come down to more or less happy misunderstandings.
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?
Why should you want to give up a child's wise not-understanding in exchange for defensiveness and scorn, since not-understanding is, after all, a way of being alone, whereas defensiveness and scorn are a participation in precisely what, by these means, you want to separate yourself from.
Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any misery, any depression, since after all you don't know what work these conditions are doing inside you? Why do you want to persecute yourself with the question of where all this is coming from and where it is going? Since you know, after all, that you are in the midst of transitions and you wished for nothing so much as to change. If there is anything unhealthy in your reactions, just bear in mind that sickness is the means by which an organism frees itself from what is alien; so one must simply help it to be sick, to have its whole sickness and to break out with it, since that is the way it gets better.