Rainer Maria Rilke Letters to a Young Poet
Rainer Maria Rilke Letters to a Young Poet

Rainer Maria Rilke Letters to a Young Poet

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“Therefore, dear Sir, love your solitude and try to sing out with the pain it causes you. For those who are near you are far away... and this shows that the space around you is beginning to grow vast.... be happy about your growth, in which of course you can't take anyone with you, and be gentle with those who stay behind; be confident and calm in front of them and don't torment them with your doubts and don't frighten them with your faith or joy, which they wouldn't be able to comprehend. Seek out some simple and true feeling of what you have in common with them, which doesn't necessarily have to alter when you yourself change again and again; when you see them, love life in a form that is not your own and be indulgent toward those who are growing old, who are afraid of the aloneness that you trust.... and don't expect any understanding; but believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.”

I found this book in an English charity shop and walked along the canal to read the whole thing by the water. The messages are still working on me all the time. Incredibly sensitive and wise advice to a 19 year old aspiring poet about to enter the Austrian Military. Buy 5 and send one to each person you like. -Gemma

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