"Madame, bear in mind That princes govern all things--save the wind." -Victor Hugo, The Infanta's Rose

Monday, March 20, 2006

Words of wisdom

We're back from Spring Break, and I'll have some cute photos to post as soon as I can get myself organized enough to download them from the camera and sort them out. In the meantime, here's a quote from one of the 20th century's great under-appreciated poets, Rainer Maria Rilke, that has been particularly inspirational to me lately:

"I beg you... to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer..."

Rilke was an interesting person. Born in Prague in 1875, he spent a number of years in Paris during the early 1900's, during which time he composed his most significant works. He became involved with the sculpture of Rodin, and was profoundly influenced by this encounter with Modernism. In "The Life of A Poet", Ralph Freedman wrote of him:
It is not difficult to imagine a setting for these remarks: the dingy room on the Left Bank of Paris by the flickering kerosene lamp, the poet's pen scratching on paper pulled out of stacks heaped on table and chairs; or perhaps, as so often in the Bibliotheque Nationale, amid silence, clearing throats, and shuffling feet; or a few years later in a cottage near Rome, or later still in the dying Swedish summer, under a beech tree. Until the end, the poet knew that real life finally exists only within, waiting to become something other than itself.
Check out more of Rilke's writing here.

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