Rainer Maria Rilke (4 December 1875 – 29 December 1926) was a Bohemian-Austrian Poet and art critic. He is considered one of the most significant poets in the German language. His haunting images focus on the difficulty of communion with the ineffable in an age of disbelief, solitude ,and profound anxiety: themes that tend to position him as a transitional figure between the traditional and the modernist poets.
He wrote in both verse and a highly lyrical prose . Among English-language readers, his best-known work is the Duino Elegies,; his two most famous prose works are the Letters to a Young Poet and the semi-autobiographical The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge. He also wrote more than 400 poems in French, dedicated to his homeland of choice, the canton of Valais in Switzerland.
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Here are several quotes of Ranier Maria Rilke that I especially love:
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will find them gradually, without noticing it, and live along some distant day into the answer.”
"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. "
"Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue, a wonderful living side by side can grow, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky. "
~ Rainer Maria Rilke
I want to close this with a video of a song called Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen. Our band, Wise Old River does a version of this song. Hallelujah is a word that can come to us when we are in AWE of something or someone that touches us beyond our normal everyday human existence. These moments are just reminders that there is a deeper life to be lived, a deeper understanding then what we often recognize in our daily living. Rainer Maria Rilke speaks to me in this way. Often certain music does the same. I am grateful for all such moments!!! Blessings, Jeanne
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