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(4 December 1875 – 29 December 1926 / Prague / Czech Republic)

Rainer Maria Rilke
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René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke (German pronunciation: [ˈʁaɪnɐ maˈʁiːa ˈʁɪlkə]), better known as Rainer Maria Rilke, was a Bohemian-Austrian poet. 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 Notebooks... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''He reproduced himself with so much humble objectivity, with the unquestioning, matter of fact interest of a dog who sees himself in a mirror and thinks: there's another dog.''
    Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926), German poet. Letter, October 23, 1907. Letters on Cézanne (1952, trans. 1985). On Cézanne.
  • 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 neighb...
    Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926), German poet. Letter, July 16, 1903. Letters to a Young Poet (1934, rev. 1954).
  • Physical pleasure is a sensual experience no different from pure seeing or the pure sensation with which a fine fruit fills the tongue; it is a great unending experience, which is given us, a knowing ...
    Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926), German poet. Letter, July 16, 1903. Published in Letters to a Young Poet (1934, revised 1954).
  • Painting is something that takes place among the colors, and ... one has to leave them alone completely, so that they can settle the matter among themselves. Their intercourse: this is the whole of pa...
    Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926), German poet. letter to his wife, Oct. 21, 1907. Published in Rilke's Letters on Cézanne (1985, German edition 1952).
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  • David Creasor (8/22/2013 3:10:00 PM)

    Hi guys, I am reading a Portuguese translation from a poem that I know was written by Rainer Maria Rilke, unfortunately the title is missing. Do any of you know which poem starts something like Nothing is comparable. maybe there is something

    Thanks in advance for any help

  • Valerie Harms (4/14/2012 11:43:00 AM)

    does anyone have those lines by Rilke where he is sitting in the rich darkness expectant about the light coming?

  • Mardia Parker (3/3/2010 6:30:00 AM)

    Trying to confirm a poem or quote that is attributed to Rilke: 'In love, practice only this: letting each other go. Holding on comes easily, we don't need to learn it. Practice letting go.'

  • Jay Warier (7/19/2009 11:20:00 AM)

    'Again and Again' I reread after 25 years today. Kept me entranced again. Time has not taken any of Rilke's charm away.

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