Monday, June 18, 2012

Meter Monday: Rainer Maria Rilke

Here is an old copy of the book.
This isn't a poem, but it's a letter written by a poet. So it counts for Meter Monday. My parents gave me Rainer Maria Rilke's "Letters To A Young Poet" in high school when I declared I was going to be a writer. When I first opened the book this particular excerpt stood out to me. Today, when I opened the book years later, the same paragraph caught my attention. I'm going to share it with you. I'd also like to know:
are there are any poets, writers, artists, musicians, potters, mathematicians, or scientists whose words or works stand out to you? Is there a specific piece or book that made you think, "Yes. This is how I feel and I know I must continue."?

"Go within. Search for the cause, find the impetus that bids you write. Put it to this test: Does it stretch out its roots in the deepest place of your heart? Can you avow that you would die if you were forbidden to write? Above all, in the most silent hour of your night, ask yourself this: "Must I write?" Dig deep into yourself for a true answer. And if it should ring its assent, if you can confidently meet this serious question with a simple, "I must," then build your life upon it. It has become your necessity. Your life, in even the most mundane and least significant hour, must become a sign,  testimony to this urge."
- Rainer Maria Rilke, "Letter To A Young Poet," from The First Letter.

Do you agree or disagree with this sentiment?

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