Rainer Maria Rilke, full name René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke

Rainer Maria
Rilke, full name René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke

Bohemian-Austrian Poet

Author Quotes

The painter should not become conscious of his insights without taking the way round through his mental processes. His advances, enigmatic even to himself, must enter so swiftly into the work that he is unable to recognize them at the moment of transition. For him, alas, who watches for them, delays them... they change like the fine gold in the fairy tale which can no longer remain gold because some detail went wrong.

The only journey is the one within.

The only sadnesses that are dangerous and unhealthy are the ones that we carry around in public in order to drown them out with the noise; like diseases that are treated superficially and foolishly, they just withdraw and after a short interval break out again all the more terribly; and gather inside us and are life, are life that is unlived, rejected, lost, life that we can die of.

The moments when something new has entered us, something unknown; our feelings grow mute in shy embarrassment, everything in us withdraws, a silence arises, and the new experience, which no one knows, stands in the midst of it all and says nothing.

The necessary thing is after all but this; solitude, great inner solitude. Going into oneself for hours meeting no one - this one must be able to attain.

The knowledge of impermanence that haunts our days is their very fragrance.

The longer I live, the more necessary it seems to me to endure, to copy the whole dictation of existence to the end, for it might be that only the last sentence contains that small, perhaps inconspicuous word through which all laboriously learned and not understood orients itself toward glorious sense.

The future enters into us in order to transform itself in us long before it happens.

The great renewal of the world will perhaps consist in this, that man and maid, freed of all false feelings and reluctances, will seek each other not as opposites, but as brother and sister, as neighbors, and will come together as human beings.

The highest form of love is to be the protector of another person

The deepest experience of the creator is feminine, for it is experience of receiving and bearing.

The demands which the difficult work of love makes upon our development are more than life-size, and as beginners we are not up to them. But if we nevertheless hold out and take this love upon us as burden and apprenticeship, instead of losing ourselves in all the light and frivolous play, behind which people have hidden from the most earnest earnestness of their existence

The creator must be a world for himself and must find everything in himself and in Nature, to whom his whole life is devoted.

That's my window. This minute So gently did I alight From sleep--was still floating in it. Where has my life its limit And where begins the night? I could fancy all things around me Were nothing but I as yet; Like a crystal's depth, profoundly Mute, translucent, unlit. I have space to spare inside me For the stars, too: so full of room Feels my heart; so lightly Would it let go of him, whom For all I know I have started To love, it may be to hold. Strange, as if never charted, Stares my fortune untold. Why is it I am bedded Beneath this infinitude, Fragrant like a meadow, Hither and thither moved, Calling out, yet fearing Someone might hear the cry, Destined to disappearing Within another I.

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.

That is the principal thing - not to remain with the dream, with the intention, with the being-in-the-mood, but always forcibly to convert it into all things.


Take your practiced powers and stretch them out until they span the chasm between contradictions ... for the god wants to know himself in you.

Take your well-disciplined strengths, stretch them between the two great opposing poles, because inside human beings is where God learns.

That is at bottom the only courage that is demanded of us: to have courage for the most strange, the most singular and the most inexplicable that we may encounter. That mankind has in this sense been cowardly has done life endless harm; the experiences that are called visions, the whole so-called spirit-world, death, all those things that are so closely akin to us, have by daily parrying been so crowded out of life that the senses with which we could have grasped them are atrophied. To say nothing of God.

Suddenly, from all the green around you, something-you don't know what-has disappeared; you feel it creeping closer to the window, in total silence. From the nearby wood you hear the urgent whistling of a plover, reminding you of someone's Saint Jerome: so much solitude and passion come from that one voice, whose fierce request the downpour will grant. The walls, with their ancient portraits, glide away from us, cautiously, as though they weren't supposed to hear what we are saying. And reflected on the faded tapestries now; the chill, uncertain sunlight of those long childhood hours when you were so afraid.

Surely all art is the result of one

Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.

Strangely, I heard a stranger say, I am with you.

Suddenly I'm as if cast out, and this solitude surrounds me as something vast and unbounded, when my feeling, standing on the hills of my breasts, cries out for wings or for an end.

Author Picture
First Name
Rainer Maria
Last Name
Rilke, full name René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke
Birth Date
Death Date

Bohemian-Austrian Poet