Thursday, October 23, 2014

Live the Questions

from Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke

You are so young, so before all beginning, and I want to beg you, as much as I can, dear sir, to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.

Live the questions.
Live into the answers.

I Am Much Too Alone in This World, Yet Not Alone
by  Rainer Maria Rilke, 1875 - 1926
I am much too alone in this world, yet not alone
to truly consecrate the hour.
I am much too small in this world, yet not small
to be to you just object and thing,
dark and smart.
I want my free will and want it accompanying
the path which leads to action;
and want during times that beg questions,
where something is up,
to be among those in the know,
or else be alone.

I want to mirror your image to its fullest perfection,
never be blind or too old
to uphold your weighty wavering reflection.
I want to unfold.

Read the rest here.

And stop by Merely Day By Day for the Poetry Friday Roundup.


  1. Every time I hear those words, I hear his voice. It is so strong, don't you think? Doesn't everyone love "to live everything. Live the questions now"? Thanks Doraine. I hope life in all its new aspects is good!

    1. I agree, Linda. His voice here is so strong. I wonder if that's what happens in letters. We give ourselves permission to truly speak in our own voice. There is more freedom maybe.

  2. Doraine,
    The poem grabbed me right here: "I am much too alone in this world, yet not alone enough." I'm always amazed that such simple words can have such strong message.

    I also loved your opening and hope to learn more about Rilke. Who can resist, "Love the questions themselves."?


    1. You said it. Simple and strong. So glad you enjoyed Rilke.