And we, who always think of happiness
rising, would feel the emotion
that almost confounds us
when a happy thing falls.
— Rainer Maria Rilke, from “The Tenth Elegy”, translated by Edward Snow
[Whoever has no house will never build one now.]
Whoever is alone now will remain so,
will stay awake, read books, write long letters
and wander restless back and forth,
among the tree-lined streets, as the leaves drift down.
— Rainer Maria Rilke, from “Autumn Day”, translated by Edward Snow
For the god
wants to know himself in you.
— Rainer Maria Rilke, from “As once the winged energy of delight,” trans. Stephen Mitchell
[More than we experienced has gone by.]
And the future holds the most remote event
in union with what we most deeply want.
" (Appendix to The Sonnets to Orpheus
) by Rainer Maria Rilke, trans. Stephen Mitchell
I felt each sharp prick of his playing,
and it was: as if a rain fell on me
in which all things change.
— “Fragments from Lost Days” by Rainer Maria Rilke, trans. Edward Snow
[… perhaps all live on.] But only as thought.
— Rainer Maria Rilke (trans. Edward Snow), from “Sonnets to Orpheus” (II, 22)