Submit Your Poems
Get Your Premium Membership

CreationEarth Nature Photos

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.

Search for the best famous Rainer Maria Rilke poems, articles about Rainer Maria Rilke poems, poetry blogs, or anything else Rainer Maria Rilke poem related using the PoetrySoup search engine at the top of the page.

See also:

Famous poems below this ad
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 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.

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.

More great poems below...

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 |

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 |


 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 |



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 |

Night (O you whose countenance)

O you whose countenance, dissolved in deepness, hovers above my face.
You who are the heaviest counterweight to my astounding contemplation.
Night, that trembles as reflected in my eyes, but in itself strong; inexhaustible creation, dominant, enduring beyond the earth's endurance; Night, full of newly created stars that leave trails of fire streaming from their seams as they soar in inaudible adventure through interstellar space: how, overshadowed by your all-embracing vastness, I appear minute!--- Yet, being one with the ever more darkening earth, I dare to be in you.

Written by Rainer Maria Rilke |

On Hearing Of A Death

 We lack all knowledge of this parting.
Death does not deal with us.
We have no reason to show death admiration, love or hate; his mask of feigned tragic lament gives us a false impression.
The world's stage is still filled with roles which we play.
While we worry that our performances may not please, death also performs, although to no applause.
But as you left us, there broke upon this stage a glimpse of reality, shown through the slight opening through which you dissapeared: green, evergreen, bathed in sunlight, actual woods.
We keep on playiing, still anxious, our difficult roles declaiming, accompanied by matching gestures as required.
But your presence so suddenly removed from our midst and from our play, at times overcomes us like a sense of that other reality: yours, that we are so overwhelmed and play our actual lives instead of the performance, forgetting altogehter the applause.

Written by Rainer Maria Rilke |


 I have great faith in all things not yet spoken.
I want my deepest pious feelings freed.
What no one yet has dared to risk and warrant will be for me a challenge I must meet.
If this presumptious seems, God, may I be forgiven.
For what I want to say to you is this: my efforts shall be like a driving force, quite without anger, without timidness as little children show their love for you.
With these outflowing, river-like, with deltas that spread like arms to reach the open sea, with the recurrent tides that never cease will I acknowledge you, will I proclaim you as no one ever has before.
And if this should be arrogance, so let me arrogant be to justify my prayer that stands so serious and so alone before your forehead, circled by the clouds.

Written by Rainer Maria Rilke |

Before Summer Rain

Suddenly from all the green around you
something-you don't know what-has disappeared;
you feel it creeping closer to the window
in total silence.
From the nearby wood you hear the urgent whistling of a plover reminding you of someone's Saint Jerome: so much solitude and passion come from that one voice whose fierce request the downpour will grant.
The walls with their ancient portraits glide away from us cautiously as though they weren't supposed to hear what we are saying.
And reflected on the faded tapestries now: the chill uncertain sunlight of those long childhood hours when you were so afraid.

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.

Written by Rainer Maria Rilke |

Lament (O how all things are far removed)

 O how all things are far removed
and long have passed away.
I do believe the star, whose light my face reflects, is dead and has been so for many thousand years.
I had a vision of a passing boat and heard some voices saying disquieting things.
I heard a clock strike in some distant house.
but in which house?.
I long to quiet my anxious heart and stand beneath the sky's immensity.
I long to pray.
And one of all the stars must still exist.
I do believe that I would know which one alone endured, and which like a white city stands at the ray's end shining in the heavens.

Written by Rainer Maria Rilke |


 Encircled by her arms as by a shell,
she hears her being murmur,
while forever he endures
the outrage of his too pure image.
Wistfully following their example, nature re-enters herself; contemplating its own sap, the flower becomes too soft, and the boulder hardens.
It's the return of all desire that enters toward all life embracing itself from afar.
Where does it fall? Under the dwindling surface, does it hope to renew a center?

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.