Rainier Maria Rilke (1875–1926) was a poet and novelist.

Inward Gaze

Baladine Klossowska: La Contemplation Intérieure (Rilke dormant sur un petit sofa à Muzot), 1921; watercolor portrait of Rainer Maria Rilke by his lover Klossowska, at the top of which he wrote a poem that is translated into English for the first time below.
Sorrow is a stubborn piece of land through which, darkling, the blessed mind sends down roots so as to bloom. Whereas, in you, my resting heart, all things stay nameless. It’s from the outside things are named: named for doubt, named for …

Komm Du, Du Letzter…

Komm du, du letzter, den ich anerkenne, heilloser Schmerz im leiblichen Geweb: wie ich im Geiste brannte, sieh, ich brenne in dir; das Holz hat lange widerstrebt, der Flamme, die du loderst, zuzustimmen, nun aber nähr’ ich dich und brenn in dir. Mein hiesig …

Two Poems by Rainer Maria Rilke

TOMBS OF THE HETAERAE They lie in their long hair, and the brown faces have long ago withdrawn into themselves. Eyes shut, as though before too great a distance. Skeletons, mouths, flowers. Inside the mouths, the shiny teeth like rows of pocket chessmen. And flowers, …