Rainer Maria Rilke on Patience and Living the Questions

Meditation with the land

I beg you… to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

Rainer Maria Rilke from Letters to a Young Poet 1903-08. Thank you to Bryan Maynard for telling me the story behind this quote.

11 responses to “Rainer Maria Rilke on Patience and Living the Questions”

  1. I LOVE this quote and I admire Rilke! I’m just about to explore his work a bit more, intending to start with an compressed version of his “Letters to a Young Poet” before reading some more of his poems.
    I think Rilke was able to bundle power and beauty in his words in a wonderful way, leaving a truly inspiring legacy behind…
    Btw, I’m glad I stumbled across your blog! I really like the mix of visual and linguistic poetry… 🙂
    Best wishes and take care, Oliver


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