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Wise Rainer Maria Rilke Quotes on Life, Love, and Reflection

Let the words of these Rainer Maria Rilke quotes flow over you and sink in on the way.

Rainer Maria Rilke was a Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist. While he died nearly 100 years ago, his work continues to be popular throughout America and the world. He is often quoted even by those who don’t really know who he is.

His work was thought to be of a somewhat “mystical” nature. He spoke and wrote of love, relationships, and many of these Rainer Maria Rilke quotes speak to the importance of living with constant reflection and with more of a purpose.

Don’t forget to also check out these Noam Chomsky quotes from the father of linguistics.

Rainer Maria Rilke quotes about love

1. “To love is good, too: love being difficult. For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.” –Rainer Maria Rilke

2. “Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.” –Rainer Maria Rilke

3. “The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust.” –Rainer Maria Rilke

4. “Yet everything that touches us, me and you, takes us together like a violin’s bow, which draws one voice out of two separate strings.” –Rainer Maria Rilke

5. “We need, in love, to practice only this: letting each other go. For holding on comes easily; we do not need to learn it.” –Rainer Maria Rilke

6. “Young people, who are beginners in everything, cannot yet know love: they have to learn it.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

7. “Love consists of this: two solitudes that meet, protect and greet each other.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

8. “But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

9. “Love consists in this, that two solitudes protect and touch and greet each other.” – Rainer Maria Rilke
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to check out our collection of solitude quotes to bring you peace.

10. “That’s love: two lonely persons keep each other safe and touch each other and talk to each other.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

Wise Rainer Maria Rilke quotes

11. “There are quantities of human faces, but there are many more faces, for each person has several.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

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12. “Make your ego porous. Will is of little importance, complaining is nothing, fame is nothing. Openness, patience, receptivity, solitude is everything.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

13. “The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

14. “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.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

15. “Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

16. “If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

17. “To be in circumstances that are working upon us, that from time to time place us in front of great natural things – that is all we need.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

18. “If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches; for to the creator there is no poverty and no poor indifferent place.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

19. “It is good to be alone, for solitude is difficult; that something is difficult should be one more reason to do it.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

Rainer Maria Rilke quotes about writing

20. “No one can advise or help you – no one. There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Search for the reason that bids you write, find out whether it spreading out its root in the deepest places of your heart… Delve into yourself for a deep answer.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

21. “Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

22. “With poems one accomplishes so little when one writes them early. One should hold off and gather sense and sweetness a whole life long, a long life if possible, and then, right at the end, one could perhaps write ten lines that are good.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

23. “If, when you wake up in the morning, you can think of nothing but writing… then you are a writer.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

24. “To write rhythmic prose one must go deep into oneself and find the anonymous and multiple rhythms of the blood. Prose needs to be built like a cathedral. There, one is truly without a name, without ambition, without help; on scaffoldings alone with one’s consciousness.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

Reflective Rainer Maria Rilke quotes

25. “Your doubt can become a good quality if you train it. It must become knowing, it must become criticism.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

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26. “Who’s not sat tense before his own heart’s curtain.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

27. “Let everything happen to you. Beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

28. “The only journey is the journey within.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

29. “This is what the things can teach us: to fall, patiently to trust our heaviness. Even a bird has to do that before he can fly.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

30. “But your solitude will be a support and a home for you, even in the midst of very unfamiliar circumstances, and from it you will find all your paths.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

31. “The necessary thing is after all but this; solitude, great inner solitude. Going into oneself for hours meeting no one – this one must be able to attain.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

32. “Think… of the world you carry within you.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

33. “Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

34. “All emotions are pure which gather you and lift you up; that emotion is impure which seizes only one side of your being and so distorts you.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

35. “I live not in dreams but in contemplation of a reality that is perhaps the future.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

Rainer Maria Rilke quotes about people and connection

36. “I want to be with those who know secret things or else alone.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

37. “A person isn’t who they are during the last conversation you had with them – they’re who they’ve been throughout your whole relationship.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

38. “For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been given to us, the ultimate, the final problem and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

39. “I live my life in widening circles that reach out across the world.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

40. “Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

41. “I hold this to be the highest task of a bond between two people: that each should stand guard over the solitude of the other.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

Rainer Maria Rilke quotes to elevate your perspective

42. “And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

43. “May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

44. “The work of the eyes is done. Go now and do the heart-work on the images imprisoned within you.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

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45. “Wishes are memories coming from our future!” – Rainer Maria Rilke

46. “If we surrendered to earth’s intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

47. “Let life happen to you. Believe me: life is in the right, always.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

48. “Everything terrible is something that needs our love.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

49. “You are not too old and it is not too late to dive into your increasing depths where life calmly gives out its own secret.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

50. “We see the brightness of a new page where everything yet can happen.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

More Rainer Maria Rilke quotes

51. “The future enters into us, in order to transform itself in us, long before it happens.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

52. “This is the miracle that happens every time to those who really love: the more they give, the more they possess.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

53. “Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

54. “Love is like the measles. The older you get it, the worse the attack.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

55. “One had to take some action against fear when once it laid hold of one.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

56. “It is a tremendous act of violence to begin anything. I am not able to begin. I simply skip what should be the beginning.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

57. “Believe that with your feelings and your work you are taking part in the greatest; the more strongly you cultivate this belief, the more will reality and the world go forth from it.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

58. “No great art has ever been made without the artist having known danger.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

59. “All the soarings of my mind begin in my blood.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

60. “There are no classes in life for beginners; right away you are always asked to deal with what is most difficult.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

Did you enjoy reading these Rainer Maria Rilke quotes?

There are many lessons that we can walk away with after reading these Rainer Maria Rilke quotes, even if you’re not typically a fan of poetry. As we transition to another new year, we can reflect on the newness of the season and year that he speaks of.

When thinking about connecting with people, we can reflect on the relationship, connection, and love quotes that Rainer Maria Rilke wrote of.

If you need a little motivation to get yourself writing, you can find inspiration in his words of digging deep and doing some self-reflection.

And finally, if you need a little encouragement, you can take heart in the mention that you’re never too old or is it too late to get started.

What’s your biggest takeaway from these Rainer Maria Rilke quotes and sayings? Do you have any other favorite quotes to add? Let us know in the comment section below.

Stephanie Kirby
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