Rainer Maria Rilke •
Letters to a Young Poet •
Whenever I see someone in a bookstore looking at Letters to a Young Poet, it’s all I can do not to sidle up and whisper, “Buy it! Read it! It’ll change your life!”
Rilke never intended this to be a book; it’s actual letters he wrote to an actual young poet, and as such contains references to the holiday season, his health, the cost of buying books, and other mundane topics. But the passages dealing with art, mysticism, and creativity are pure gold. His words echo down the ages with the unmistakable ring of truth.
“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 written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given to 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.”
Buy it. Read it. It’ll change your life.