Rainer Maria Rilke

The Poetry Of Rainer Maria Rilke

Rainer Maria Milke was born Rene Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Milke on 4th December 1875 in Prague in what is now the Czech Republic but what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His parents had an unhappy marriage with his mother dressing him up as a girl in his early years, in remembrance of the baby girl she had lost and his father sending him to a military academy. He left the academy due to illness and after tutoring was accepted by University first in Prague and then in Munich where he studied art history, philosophy and literature. Whilst in Munich he was to meet his first meaningful love who remained his friend to his death, namely Lou Andreas-Salome, a sophisticated well travelled married woman who trained as a psychoanalyst under Freud. Later during a stay at an artist's colony he met and married sculptor Clara Westhoff and together they had a daughter Ruth. He lived in Paris from 1902–1910 where he mixed with many great creative minds of the time, was introduced to modernism and became a secretary to Rodin who he also wrote and lectured about. Then he lived as a guest in the Castle Duino but his writing was not to fully flourish during the following turbulent war years until he settled in Switzerland in 1919. Here he wrote profusely in both German and French many widely quoted great mystical poems that have left a lasting legacy throughout the world, drawing from existential themes and his extensive travels. He died in on December 29th 1926 after a long illness, which was eventually diagnosed as leukaemia and chose and wrote his own epitaph: Rose, oh pure contradiction, delight of being no one's sleep under so many lids.
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    Jaz Alvhas quoted3 years ago

    Ever since those wondrous days of Creation
    our Lord God sleeps: we are His sleep.
    And He accepted this in His indulgence,
    resigned to rest among the distant stars.

    Our actions stopped Him from reacting,
    for His fist-tight hand is numbed by sleep,
    and the times brought in the age of heroes
    during which our dark hearts plundered Him.

    Sometimes He appears as if tormented,
    and His body jerks as if plagued by pain;
    but these spells are always outweighed by the
    number of His countless other worlds.
    Jaz Alvhas quoted3 years ago

    How my body blooms from every vein
    more fragrantly, since you appeard to me;
    look, I walk slimmer now and straighter,
    and all you do is wait-:who are you then?

    Look: I feel how I'm moving away,
    how I'm shedding my old life, leaf by leaf.
    Only your smile spreads like sheer stars
    over you and, soon now, over me.

    Whatever shines through my childhood years
    still nameless and gleaming like water,
    I will name after you at the altar,
    which is blazing brightly from your hair
    and braided gently with your breasts.
    Jaz Alvhas quoted3 years ago

    I am like a flag in the center of open space.
    I sense ahead the wind which is coming, and must live
    it through.
    while the things of the world still do not move:
    the doors still close softly, and the chimneys are full
    of silence,
    the windows do not rattle yet, and the dust still lies down.

    I already know the storm, and I am troubled as the sea.
    I leap out, and fall back,
    and throw myself out, and am absolutely alone
    in the great storm.

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