Rainer Maria Rilke
René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke (German pronunciation: [ˈʁaɪnɐ maˈʁiːa ˈʁɪlkə
International Phonetic Alphabet
The International Phonetic Alphabet "The acronym 'IPA' strictly refers [...] to the 'International Phonetic Association'. But it is now such a common practice to use the acronym also to refer to the alphabet itself that resistance seems pedantic...

]; 4 December 1875 – 29 December 1926), better known as Rainer Maria Rilke, was a Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

 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
Modernism, in its broadest definition, is modern thought, character, or practice. More specifically, the term describes the modernist movement, its set of cultural tendencies and array of associated cultural movements, originally arising from wide-scale and far-reaching changes to Western society...


He wrote in both verse and a highly lyrical prose.

Just as language has no longer anything in common with the thing it names, so the movements of most of the people who live in cities have lost their connexion with the earth; they hang, as it were, in the air, hover in all directions, and find no place where they can settle.

Worpswede (1903)

Du im Vorausverlorne Geliebte, Nimmergekommene,nicht weiß ich, welche Töne dir lieb sind.Nicht mehr versuch ich, dich, wenn das Kommende wogt,zu erkennen.

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.

I am much too alone in this world, yet not aloneenoughto truly consecrate the hour.I am much too small in this world, yet not smallenoughto be to you just object and thing,dark and smart.I want my free will and want it accompanyingthe path which leads to action;and want during times that beg questions,where something is up,to be among those in the know,or else be alone.

I Am Much Too Alone in This World, Yet Not Alone, st. 1 (as translated by Annemarie S. Kidder)

The work of the eyes is done. Go now and do the heart-work on the images imprisoned within you.

Wendung (Turning Point) (as translated by Stephen Mitchell)

He was a poet and hated the approximate.

The Journal of My Other Self

Death is the dies of life which is turned away from us.

Letter to W. von Hulewicz

Make your ego porous. Will is of little importance, complaining is nothing, fame is nothing. Openness, patience, receptivity, solitude is everything.

As quoted in Sunbeams : A Book of Quotations (1990) by Sy Safransky, p. 42

Everywhere I am folded, there I am a lie.

As quoted in News of the Universe : Poems of Twofold Consciousness (1995) by Robert W. Bly, p. 125