Sunday, February 5, 2012

Thought for the Day

. . . poems are not . . . simply emotions . . . they are experiences.
For the sake of a single poem, you must see many cities, many
people and things . . . and know the gestures which small 
flowers make when they open in the morning. You must be able
to think back to streets in unknown neighborhoods, to
unexpected encounters, and to partings you have long seen
coming; to days of childhood whose mystery is still unexplained . . . 
to mornings by the sea, to the sea itself, to seas, to nights
of travel . . . and it is still not enough.
~ from The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge by Rainer Maria Rilke*

* First published in 1910, this is the only novel Rilke wrote and is available in translation via Amazon (Vintage, 1990) and other booksellers. The full text of the novel as translated by William Needham also is available at Internet Archive. (The translation at the latter differs slightly from the quote as it appears in Ralph Freedman's Life of a Poet: Rainer Maria Rilke (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1996).)

Rainer Maria Rilke, 1875-1926


Dawn Potter said...

Lovely. Thank you, Maureen.

Nancy said...

I love Rilke and the quote you cite here. Thanks, Maureen.

Andrea (Andee) Beltran said...

This is something I can feel today, Maureen. Thank you for sharing. I've been unaware of Rilke's novel but now it is going on my reading list.

Enjoy your Sunday!

S. Etole said...

It takes time to experience a poem, I think.

Kathleen Overby said...

Maureen, this was sweeter than honey in the honeycomb. Just the thing for today. I'm always sheepish when I read an author or hear about an author for the first time, usually here. Everyone else seems familiar and I'm just waking up. Thanks for the lovely nudges toward awakening....