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Best Famous Rainer Maria Rilke Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Rainer Maria Rilke poems. This is a select list of the best famous Rainer Maria Rilke poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Rainer Maria Rilke poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Rainer Maria Rilke poems.

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Written by Walter Savage Landor |


 Whoever has no house now will never have one.
Whoever is alone will stay alone Will sit, read, write long letters through the evening And wander on the boulevards, up and down.
- from Autumn Day, Rainer Maria Rilke Its stain is everywhere.
The sharpening air of late afternoon is now the colour of tea.
Once-glycerined green leaves burned by a summer sun are brittle and ochre.
Night enters day like a thief.
And children fear that the beautiful daylight has gone.
Whoever has no house now will never have one.
It is the best and the worst time.
Around a fire, everyone laughing, brocaded curtains drawn, nowhere-anywhere-is more safe than here.
The whole world is a cup one could hold in one's hand like a stone warmed by that same summer sun.
But the dead or the near dead are now all knucklebone.
Whoever is alone will stay alone.
Nothing to do.
Nothing to really do.
Toast and tea are nothing.
Kettle boils dry.
Shut the night out or let it in, it is a cat on the wrong side of the door whichever side it is on.
A black thing with its implacable face.
To avoid it you will tell yourself you are something, will sit, read, write long letters through the evening.
Even though there is bounty, a full harvest that sharp sweetness in the tea-stained air is reserved for those who have made a straw fine as a hair to suck it through- fine as a golden hair.
Wearing a smile or a frown God's face is always there.
It is up to you if you take your wintry restlessness into the town and wander on the boulevards, up and down.

Written by Rainer Maria Rilke |

The Apple Orchard

 Come let us watch the sun go down
and walk in twilight through the orchard's green.
Does it not seem as if we had for long collected, saved and harbored within us old memories? To find releases and seek new hopes, remembering half-forgotten joys, mingled with darkness coming from within, as we randomly voice our thoughts aloud wandering beneath these harvest-laden trees reminiscent of Durer woodcuts, branches which, bent under the fully ripened fruit, wait patiently, trying to outlast, to serve another season's hundred days of toil, straining, uncomplaining, by not breaking but succeeding, even though the burden should at times seem almost past endurance.
Not to falter! Not to be found wanting! Thus must it be, when willingly you strive throughout a long and uncomplaining life, committed to one goal: to give yourself! And silently to grow and to bear fruit.

Written by Rainer Maria Rilke |

The Gazelle

Gazella Dorcas

Enchanted thing: how can two chosen words
ever attain the harmony of pure rhyme
that pulses through you as your body stirs?
Out of your forehead branch and lyre climb

and all your features pass in simile through
the songs of love whose words as light as rose-
petals rest on the face of someone who
has put his book away and shut his eyes:

to see you: tensed as if each leg were a gun
loaded with leaps but not fired while your neck
holds your head still listening: as when

while swimming in some isolated place
a girl hears leaves rustle and turns to look:
the forest pool reflected in her face.

More great poems below...

Written by Rainer Maria Rilke |

Black Cat

 A ghost, though invisible, still is like a place
your sight can knock on, echoing; but here
within this thick black pelt, your strongest gaze
will be absorbed and utterly disappear:

just as a raving madman, when nothing else
can ease him, charges into his dark night
howling, pounds on the padded wall, and feels
the rage being taken in and pacified.
She seems to hide all looks that have ever fallen into her, so that, like an audience, she can look them over, menacing and sullen, and curl to sleep with them.
But all at once as if awakened, she turns her face to yours; and with a shock, you see yourself, tiny, inside the golden amber of her eyeballs suspended, like a prehistoric fly.

Written by Rainer Maria Rilke |


 It would be good to give much thought, before
you try to find words for something so lost,
for those long childhood afternoons you knew
that vanished so completely --and why?

We're still reminded--: sometimes by a rain,
but we can no longer say what it means;
life was never again so filled with meeting,
with reunion and with passing on

as back then, when nothing happened to us
except what happens to things and creatures:
we lived their world as something human,
and became filled to the brim with figures.
And became as lonely as a sheperd and as overburdened by vast distances, and summoned and stirred as from far away, and slowly, like a long new thread, introduced into that picture-sequence where now having to go on bewilders us.

Written by Rainer Maria Rilke |



The stamina of an old long-noble race
in the eyebrows' heavy arches.
In the mild blue eyes the solemn anguish of a child and here and there humility-not a fool's but feminine: the look of one who serves.
The mouth quite ordinary large and straight composed yet not willing to speak out when necessary.
The forehead still na?ve most comfortable in shadows looking down.
This as a whole just hazily foreseen- never in any joy of suffering collected for a firm accomplishment; and yet as though from far off with scattered Things a serious true work were being planned.

Written by Rainer Maria Rilke |

The Wait

 It is life in slow motion,
it's the heart in reverse,
it's a hope-and-a-half:
too much and too little at once.
It's a train that suddenly stops with no station around, and we can hear the cricket, and, leaning out the carriage door, we vainly contemplate a wind we feel that stirs the blooming meadows, the meadows made imaginary by this stop.

Written by Rainer Maria Rilke |


 High above he stands, beside the many
saintly figures fronting the cathedral's
gothic tympanum, close by the window
called the rose, and looks astonished at his

own deification which placed him there.
Erect and proud he smiles, and quite enjoys this feat of his survival, willed by choice.
As labourer in the fields he made his start and through his efforts brought to full fruition the garden God named Eden.
But where was the hidden path that led to the New Earth? God would not listen to his endless pleas.
Instead, He threatened him that he shall die.
Yet Adam stood his ground: Eve shall give birth.

Written by Rainer Maria Rilke |

Girls Lament

 In the years when we were
all children, this inclining
to be alone so much was gentle;
others' time passed fighting,
and one had one's faction,
one's near, one's far-off place,
a path, an animal, a picture.
And I still imagined, that life would always keep providing for one to dwell on things within, Am I within myself not in what's greatest? Shall what's mine no longer soothe and understand me as a child? Suddenly I'm as if cast out, and this solitude surrounds me as something vast and unbounded, when my feeling, standing on the hills of my breasts, cries out for wings or for an end.

Written by Rainer Maria Rilke |

Dedication To M...

 Swing of the heart.
O firmly hung, fastened on what invisible branch.
Who, who gave you the push, that you swung with me into the leaves? How near I was to the exquisite fruits.
But not-staying is the essence of this motion.
Only the nearness, only toward the forever-too-high, all at once the possible nearness.
Vicinities, then from an irresistibly swung-up-to place --already, once again, lost--the new sight, the outlook.
And now: the commanded return back and across and into equilbrium's arms.
Below, in between, hesitation, the pull of earth, the passage through the turning-point of the heavy--, past it: and the catapult stretches, weighted with the heart's curiosity, to the other side, opposite, upward.
Again how different, how new! How they envy each other at the ends of the rope, these opposite halves of pleasure.
Or, shall I dare it: these quarters?--And include, since it witholds itself, that other half-circle, the one whose impetus pushes the swing? I'm not just imagining it, as the mirror of my here-and-now arc.
Guess nothing.
It will be newer someday.
But from endpoint to endpoint of the arc that I have most dared, I already fully possess it: overflowings from me plunge over to it and fill it, stretch it apart, almost.
And my own parting, when the force that pushes me someday stops, makes it all the more near.

Written by Rainer Maria Rilke |

Evening Love Song

 Ornamental clouds
compose an evening love song;
a road leaves evasively.
The new moon begins a new chapter of our nights, of those frail nights we stretch out and which mingle with these black horizontals.

Written by Rainer Maria Rilke |


 Interior of the hand.
Sole that has come to walk only on feelings.
That faces upward and in its mirror receives heavenly roads, which travel along themselves.
That has learned to walk upon water when it scoops, that walks upon wells, transfiguring every path.
That steps into other hands, changes those that are like it into a landscape: wanders and arrives within them, fills them with arrival.

Written by Rainer Maria Rilke |

The Sonnets To Orpheus: X

 You who are close to my heart always,
I welcome you, ancient coffins of stone,
which the cheerful water of Roman days
still flows through, like a wandering song.
Or those other ones that are open wide like the eyes of a happily waking shepard -with silence and bee-suck nettle inside, from which ecstatic butterflies flittered; everything that has been wrestled from doubt I welcome-the mouths that burst open after long knowledge of what it is to be mute.
Do we know this, my friends, or don't we know this? Both are formed by the hesitant hour in the deep calm of the human face.

Written by Rainer Maria Rilke |

Herr Es Ist Zeit

 Herr: es ist Zeit.
Der Sommer war sehr gro?.
Leg deinen Schatten auf die Sonnenuhren, und auf den Fluren la? die Winde los.
Befiehl den letzten Früchten voll zu sein; gieb innen noch zwei südlichere Tage, dränge sie zur Vollendung hin und jage die letzte Sü?e in den schweren Wein.
Wer jetzt kein Haus hat, baut sich keines mehr.
Wer jetzt allein ist, wird es lange bleiben, wird wachen, lesen, lange Briefe schreiben und wird in den Alleen hin und her unruhig wandern, wenn die Blätter treiben.

Written by Rainer Maria Rilke |

Falling Stars

 Do you remember still the falling stars
that like swift horses through the heavens raced
and suddenly leaped across the hurdles
of our wishes--do you recall? And we
did make so many! For there were countless numbers
of stars: each time we looked above we were
astounded by the swiftness of their daring play,
while in our hearts we felt safe and secure
watching these brilliant bodies disintegrate,
knowing somehow we had survived their fall.