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Enlightening quotes by Rainer Maria Rilke on love, fear, action, emotions and other things.

100 Enlightening Quotes By Rainer Maria Rilke, The Author Of Letters To A Young Poet

Quick Facts

Famous As: Poet & Novelist

Born On: December 4, 1875

Died On: December 29, 1926

Born In: Prague, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary

Died At Age: 51

Rainer Maria Rilke was a Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist who is widely known as one of the most lyrically intense German-language poet. Rilke’s writing was unique in context that it helped expand the realm of poetry through new uses of syntax and imagery. What gave Rilke an edge over other writers of his generation was his use of physical symbols instead of intellectual ones. Unlike Shakespeare who thought of the non-human world in terms of the human, Rilke thought of the human in terms of the non-human. In his life, Rilke developed his own philosophy that rejected the Catholic beliefs and Christianity and instead reconciled beauty and suffering, life and death, into one philosophy. He did not believe that Christ was divine and instead argued Him to be entirely human. Over the years, Rilke’s work found new audiences through its use by New Age theologians and through frequent quoting in television programs, books and motion pictures. Other than his poetic verses and prose, Rilke’s line of belief and thought can also be visible in his quotes that touch wide variety of aspects of life. Browse through this section and find some of the best known quotes by Rainer Maria Rilke.   

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We need, in love, to practice only this: letting each other go. For holding on comes easily; we do not need to learn it.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Let everything happen to you Beauty and terror Just keep going No feeling is final

Rainer Maria Rilke

I live my life in widening circles that reach out across the world.

Rainer Maria Rilke

I want to be with those who know secret things or else alone.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.

Rainer Maria Rilke

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

Rainer Maria Rilke

Love consists of this: two solitudes that meet, protect and greet each other.

Rainer Maria Rilke

The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. ...live in the question.

Rainer Maria Rilke

And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been

Rainer Maria Rilke

For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure, and it amazes us so, because it serenely disdains to destroy us. Every angel is terrible.

Rainer Maria Rilke

The only journey is the one within.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.

Rainer Maria Rilke

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

Rainer Maria Rilke

If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches; for to the creator there is no poverty and no poor indifferent place.

Rainer Maria Rilke

A person isn't who they are during the last conversation you had with them - they're who they've been throughout your whole relationship.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Let life happen to you. Believe me: life is in the right, always.

Rainer Maria Rilke

I hold this to be the highest task of a bond between two people: that each should stand guard over the solitude of the other.

Rainer Maria Rilke

It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Embrace your solitude and love it. Endure the pain it causes, and try to sing out with it. For those near to you are distant...

Rainer Maria Rilke

The necessary thing is after all but this; solitude, great inner solitude. Going into oneself for hours meeting no one - this one must be able to attain.

Rainer Maria Rilke

If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow

Rainer Maria Rilke

This is what the things can teach us: to fall, patiently to trust our heaviness. Even a bird has to do that before he can fly.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Think... of the world you carry within you.

Rainer Maria Rilke

You are not too old and it is not too late to dive into your increasing depths where life calmly gives out it's own secret

Rainer Maria Rilke

Yet, no matter how deeply I go down into myself, my God is dark, and like a webbing made of a hundred roots that drink in silence.

Rainer Maria Rilke

May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.

Rainer Maria Rilke

That’s love: Two lonely persons keep each other safe and touch each other and talk to each other.

Rainer Maria Rilke

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees.

Rainer Maria Rilke

I am circling around God, around the ancient tower, and I have been circling for a thousand years, and I still don't know if I am a falcon, or a storm, or a great song.

Rainer Maria Rilke

But your solitude will be a support and a home for you, even in the midst of very unfamiliar circumstances, and from it you will find all your paths.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Every angel is terrifying.

Rainer Maria Rilke

I live not in dreams but in contemplation of a reality that is perhaps the future.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night.

Rainer Maria Rilke

How can I keep my soul in me, so that it doesn't touch your soul? How can I raise it high enough, past you, to other things?

Rainer Maria Rilke

Everything terrible is something that needs our love.

Rainer Maria Rilke

If you will stay close to nature, to its simplicity, to the small things hardly noticeable, those things can unexpectedly become great and immeasurable.

Rainer Maria Rilke

I am the rest between two notes which are somehow always in discord.

Rainer Maria Rilke

A billion stars go spinning through the night, / glittering above your head, / But in you is the presence that will be / when all the stars are dead.

Rainer Maria Rilke

I love the dark hours of my being. My mind deepens into them. There I can find, as in old letters, the days of my life, already lived, and held like a legend, and understood.

Rainer Maria Rilke

There are no classes in life for beginners: right away you are always asked to deal with what is most difficult.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Most people come to know only one corner of their room, one spot near the window, one narrow strip on which they keep walking back and forth.

Rainer Maria Rilke

In the deepest hour of the night, confess to yourself that you would die if you were forbidden to write. And look deep into your heart where it spreads its roots, the answer, and ask yourself, must I write?

Rainer Maria Rilke

And you should not let yourself be confused in your solitude by the fact that there is something in you that wants to move out of it.

Rainer Maria Rilke

If no one else, the dying must notice how unreal, how full of pretense, is all that we accomplish here, where nothing is allowed to be itself.

Rainer Maria Rilke

This is the miracle that happens every time to those who really love: the more they give, the more they possess.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Our heart always transcends us.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Shattered people are best represented by bits and pieces.

Rainer Maria Rilke

But there is much beauty here, because there is much beauty everywhere.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Comfort me from wherever you are–alone, we are quickly worn out; if I place my head on the road, let it seem softened by you. Could it be that even from afar we offer each other a gentle breath?

Rainer Maria Rilke

Live your questions now, and perhaps even without knowing it, you will live along some distant day into your answers.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Perhaps the same bird echoed through both of us yesterday, seperate, in the evening.

Rainer Maria Rilke

The future enters into us, in order to transform itself in us, long before it happens.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Where something becomes extremely difficult and unbearable, there we also stand already quite near its transformation.

Rainer Maria Rilke

All the soarings of my mind begin in my blood.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Who has not sat before his own heart's curtain? It lifts: and the scenery is falling apart.

Rainer Maria Rilke

She followed slowly, taking a long time, As though there were some obstacles in the way; And yet: as though, once it was overcome, She would be beyond all walking, and would fly.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Let your beauty manifest itself without talking and calculation.​ You are silent. It says for you: I am. And comes in meaning thousandfold​, comes at long last over everyone.

Rainer Maria Rilke

He does not always remain bent over the pages; he often leans back and closes his eyes over a line he has been reading again, and its meaning spreads through his blood.

Rainer Maria Rilke

It is part of the nature of every definitive love that sooner or later it can reach the beloved only in infinity.

Rainer Maria Rilke

As if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Right in the difficult we must have our joys, our happiness, our dreams: there against the depth of this background, they stand out, there for the first time we see how beautiful they are.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Strangely, I heard a stranger say, I am with you.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Earth, my dearest, oh believe me, you no longer need your springtimes to win me over...Unspeakably, I have belonged to you, from the flush.

Rainer Maria Rilke

But because truly being here is so much; because everything here apparently needs us, this fleeting world, which in some strange way keeps calling to us. Us, the most fleeting of all.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.

Rainer Maria Rilke

It is a tremendous act of violence to begin anything. I am not able to begin. I simply skip what should be the beginning.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Never forget that solitude is my lot ... I implore those who love me to love my solitude." (Letter to Mimi Romanelli, May 11, 1910)

Rainer Maria Rilke

Girls, there are poets who learn from you to say, what you, in your aloneness, are; and they learn through you to live distantness, as the evenings through the great stars become accustomed to eternity.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Whoever you are, go out into the evening, leaving your room, of which you know every bit; your house is the last before the infinite, whoever you are.

Rainer Maria Rilke

It is good to be solitary, for solitude is difficult; that something is difficult must be a reason the more for us to do it.

Rainer Maria Rilke

You darkness, that I come from, I love you more than all the fires that fence in the world.

Rainer Maria Rilke

The highest form of love is to be the protector of another person’s solitude.

Rainer Maria Rilke

A work of art is good if it has arisen out of necessity. That is the only way one can judge it.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Destiny itself is like a wonderful wide tapestry in which every thread is guided by an unspeakable tender hand, placed beside another thread and held and carried by a hundred others.

Rainer Maria Rilke

That is the principal thing-not to remain with the dream, with the intention, with the being-in-the-mood, but always forcibly to convert it all into things.

Rainer Maria Rilke

The deepest experience of the creator is feminine, for it is experience of receiving and bearing.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Works of art are of an infinite solitude, and no means of approach is so useless as criticism. Only love can touch and hold them and be fair to them.

Rainer Maria Rilke

I have never been aware before how many faces there are. There are quantities of human beings, but there are many more faces, for each person has several.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Rose, oh pure contradiction, joy of being No-one's sleep under so many lids.

Rainer Maria Rilke

There is only one journey. Going inside yourself.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Look, I am living. On what? Neither childhood nor future lessens . . . . Superabundant existence wells in my heart.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Perhaps then, some day far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.

Rainer Maria Rilke

I am much too alone in this world, yet not alone enough

Rainer Maria Rilke

Perhaps somewhere, someplace deep inside your being, you have undergone important changes while you were sad.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Life is heavier than the weight of all things.

Rainer Maria Rilke

You are nearing the land that is life; you will recognize it by its seriousness.

Rainer Maria Rilke

All things want to float.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Beauty is only the start of bearable terror.

Rainer Maria Rilke

You, darkness, of whom I am born- I love you more than the flame that limits the world to the circle it illumines and excludes the rest.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Everyone once, once only. Just once and no more. And we also once. Never again. But this having been once, although only once, to have been of the earth, seems irrevocable.

Rainer Maria Rilke

We are not allowed to linger, even with what is most intimate.

Rainer Maria Rilke

All emotions are pure which gather you and lift you up; that emotion is impure which seizes only one side of your being and so distorts you.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Art too is just a way of living.

Rainer Maria Rilke

So we are grasped by what we cannot grasp.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Do not allow yourself to be misled by the surfaces of things

Rainer Maria Rilke

Your solitude will expand and become a place where you can live in the twilight, where the noise of other people passes, far in the distance.

Rainer Maria Rilke

I am a house gutted by fire where only the guilty sometimes sleep before the punishment that devours them hounds them out in the open.

Rainer Maria Rilke

We make our way through Everything like thread passing through fabric, giving shape to images that we ourselves do not know.

Rainer Maria Rilke

And as for the rest, let life happen to you. Believe me: life is in the right, always.

Rainer Maria Rilke