“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books
that are now 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.”
This is an excerpt from the enormously popular poet Rainer Maria Wilke, from ‘Letters to a young poet’, published after his death. He wrote a correspondence to a young man in the Austro Hungrian army between 1902 and 1908; Franz Kappus was a young man struggling with his own poetry and turned to Rilke for advice. He certainly got it. He advised Franz to look inward and not rely on the capriciousness of the market place. Rilke didn’t critique the young man’s poetry, but instead wrote with greater impact, about soul and shared profound insights about creativity, soul, reflection, relationships, sexuality, love, and life. The letters were published by Franz after Rilkes death, and have been admired as literary masterpieces. They can be read here in translation.; http://www.carrothers.com/rilke2.htm
Like Rumi, Rilke is a mystical wordsmith, and his words have gone on to inspire and solace in equal measure. In the words of an English poet, Lord Byron,
But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling, like dew, upon a thought produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions think.
Lord Byron, Don Juan (written between 1818 to 1824), Canto III, Stanza 88.