Quotes Collection

Rainer Maria Rilke Poems - Selected Poems - WothQuotes


I have put together below some of my favorite poems written by Rainer Maria Rilke, a poet and novelist who was born on 4th December 1875 and is recognized as the master of verse. Hope you like it too.

Rainer Maria Rilke Poems

A Walk

My eyes already touch the hill,
going far ahead of the road I have begun.
So we are grasped by what we cannot grasp;
it has its inner light, even from a distance-

and changes us, even if we do not reach it,
into something else, which, hardly sensing it, 
we already are; a gesture waves us on, answering our own wave...
but what we feel is the wind in our faces.

Rainer Maria Rilke 

You Who Never Arrived 

You who never arrived 
in my arms, Beloved, who were lost
from the start,
I don't even know what songs 
would please you. I have given up trying
to recognize you in the surging wave of
the next moment. All the immense 
images in me -- the far-off, deeply-felt
landscape, cities, towers, and bridges, and
unsuspected turns in the path,
and those powerful lands that were once
pulsing with the life of the gods--
all rise within me to mean
you, who forever elude me.

You, Beloved, who are all
the gardens I have ever gazed at,
longing. An open window 
in a country house--, and you almost
stepped out, pensive, to meet me.
Streets that I chanced upon,--
you had just walked down them and vanished.
And sometimes, in a shop, the mirrors
were still dizzy with your presence and,
startled, gave back to my too--sudden image.
Who knows? Perhaps the same 
bird echoed through both of us
yesterday, separate, in the evening...

Rainer Maria Rilke Poems

The Loner

Like one who has traveled distant oceans
am I among those who are forever at home.
The crowded days are spread across their tables,
but to me the far-off holds more life.

Behind my face stretches a world
no more lived in, perhap, than the moon.
But the others leave no feeling alone
and all their words are inhabited. 

The things I brought back with me
seem strange here and out of place.
In their own land they moved like animals,
but here they hold their breath in shame.

- Rainer Maria Rilke 

To Say Before Going to Sleep

I would like to sing someone to sleep,
have someone to sit by and be with.
I would like to cradle you and softly sing,
be your companion while you sleep or wake.
I would like to be the only person 
in the house to knew: the night outside was cold.
And would like to listen to you
and outside to the world and to the woods.

The clocks are striking, calling to each other.

Rainer Maria Rilke 

Rainer Maria Rilke Poems

You, Darkness 

You, darkness, that I come from,
I love you more than all the fires
that fence in the world,
for the fire makes a circle of light for everyone
and then no one outside learns of you.

But the darkness pulls in everything-
shapes and fires, animals and myself,
how easily it gathers them!-
powers and people-
and it is possible a great presence is moving near me.

I have faith in nights.

- Rainer Maria Rilke 


Being apart and lonely is like rain.
It climbs toward evening from the ocean plains;
for flat places, rolling and remote, it climbs 
to heaven, which is its old abode.
And only when leaving heaven drops upon the city.

It rain down on us in those twittering
hours when the streets turn their faces to the dawn,
and when two bodies who have found nothing,
disappointed and depressed, roll over;
and when two people who despise each other 
have to sleep together in one bed-

that is when loneliness receives the rivers...

Rainer Maria Rilke 

Rainer Maria Rilke Poems

Love Song

How shall I hold my soul so it does not
touch yours. How shall I lift it
over you to other things? 
Ah, willingly I'd store it away
with some lost thing in the dark,
in some strange still place, that
does not tremble when your depths tremble.
But all that touches us, you and me,
takes us, together, like the stroke of a bow,
that draws one chord out of the two strings.
On what instrument are we strung? 
On what artist has us in their hand?
O sweet song.

Rainer Maria Rilke 

Life Feelings Loneliness Love  
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