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Absolutely incredible...life in a book. When I read his letters either I feel like everything makes sense, I can live a fulfilled life or "why couldn't have I been as eloquent as him?" He was a feminist:"And perhaps the sexes are more related than we think..." (or more of an equalist) before it was popular or contemplated. His letters are bound to challenge the reader if taken seriously...I have been recommending it to everyone. "If you will cling to Nature, to the simple in Nature, to the little things that hardly anyone sees, and that can so unexpectedly become big and beyond measuring; if you have this love of inconsiderable things and seek quite simply, as one who serves, to win the confidence of what seems poor: then everything will become easier, more coherent and somehow more concilatory for you, not in your intellect, perhaps, which lags marveling behind, but in your inmost consciousness, waking and cognizance...O that man might take this secret, of which the world is full even to its littlest thing, more humbly to himself and bear it, endure it, more seriously and feel how terribly difficuult it is, instead of taking it lightly."

Letters To a Young Poet
translated by Steven Mitchell
courtesy of http://www.sfgoth.com/~immanis/rilke/letter1.html

  • Letter 1 "...ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write?"
  • Letter 2 "Irony: Don't let yourself be controlled by it, especially during uncreative moments."
  • Letter 3 "I learn it every day of my life, learn it with pain I am grateful for: patience is everything!"
  • Letter 4 "...try to love the questions themselves... books written in a very foreign language."
  • Letter 5 "...there is much beauty here, because everywhere there is much beauty."
  • Letter 6 "...there is only one solitude, and it is vast, heavy, difficult to bear..."
  • Letter 7 "...that something is difficult must be one more reason for us to do it."
  • Letter 8 "...ask yourself whether these large sadnesses haven't rather gone right through you..."
  • Letter 9 "...that you may find in yourself enough patience to endure and enough simplicity to have faith..."
  • Letter 10 "Art too is just a way of living..."

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