Timeless Rilke

No matter how often I read Rilke’s “Letters to a Young Poet,” they always reverberate:

“You ask whether your verses are any good. You ask me. You have asked others before this…..I beg you to stop that sort of thing. You are looking outside, and that is what you should avoid right now. No one can advise or help you–no one. There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. 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 whether you would die if you were forbidden to write. then most of all: ask yourself in the silent hour of the night: must I write? and if this answer rings out an assent, if you meet this simply question with a strong, simple, “I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse.”

Advertisements