Rainer Maria Rilke

I have never been able to appreciate poetry. It just falls short to me, becoming boring and drawn out. But a while ago I came across Rainer Maria Rilke and it changed everything. His writing is beautiful, and haunting; emotionally wrapping you up. I have never been so effected by a poem. My only wish is that I was talented enough to read it in its original language.

The story I attached to was from the Duino Elegies::

Angel!! If there were a place that we didn’t know of,                                                                                                                                                                                                                    and there, on some unsayable carpet, lovers displayed

What they could never bring to mastery here-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  the bold exploits of their high flying hearts,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Their towers of pleasure,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    their ladders that have long since been standing where there was no ground,                                                                                                                                                                leaning just on each other, trembling-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               and could master all this, before the surrounding spectators,                                                                                                                                                                                                      the unnumerable soundless dead:

Would these, then,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              throw down their final, forever saved up,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 forever hidden, unknown to us,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                eternally valid coins of happiness                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   before the at last genuinely smiling pair                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              on the gratified carpet?

So I spent the day looking for this book::


But no one has it in stock… talk about not being popular…

But I did find this::


Thrilled about this find! And I have ordered the Duino Elegies- lets hope the book gets here soon!

Converter to poetry,

The Southern Belle


5 thoughts on “Rainer Maria Rilke

    • I have never heard of that site before! I am tabbing it for further use- too bad I already ordered the text from a chain… spent much more money than I had to. Oh well- life lesson #145,298,349… for the day.

  1. Belle,

    Rilke is marvelous, and yes, the Duino Elegies are a good place to start (my favorite is the Third; well, maybe the Eighth). Be advised, however, that translations vary quite a bit; Rilke is a “difficult” poet even in his native German, and trying to convey his many shades of meaning in another language is impossible. So while I hope you enjoy whatever translation you’ve ordered, take a look at one or two more sometime. You need not buy them– ask at your local library about interlibrary loan. And by the way, Rilke is -very- well known (and popular), just not at chain bookstores.

    You might also enjoy the Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska; on the surface, she seems much, much lighter and more accessible than Rilke (the kind of man for whom the words “intense” and “brooding” were invented). But don’t be fooled– Szymborska is witty, wise, and deeper than she first appears.

    Happy exploring,


    PS: at the risk of nitpicking, on your home page you “lose yourself” in books, not “loose.” One of those things spell check will not catch…. 🙂

    • I love Rilke..Thanx 4 the post. Oh and you all should read his writings and works. It does no have many poems but it is a book full of longed poems that are like a diary. He talks about everything, especially relationships.

  2. Ha! Thanks for the edit! I had been looking at the computer far too long by that point! And I will definitely be checking out other translators for Rilke. He was recommended to me by a friend who speaks German and that was the first thing she mentioned!

    As for Wislawa Szymborska- I will definitely look into her works. I appreciate witty and wise writers.

    Thanks for your recommendations!

    Southern Belle

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