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Duino Elegies

Rainer Maria Rilke

Top 10 Best Quotes

“For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure, and it amazes us so, because it serenely disdains to destroy us. Every angel is terrible.”

“Every angel is terrifying.”

“Look: the trees exist; the houses we dwell in stand there stalwartly. Only we pass by it all, like a rush of air. And everything conspires to keep quiet about us, half out of shame perhaps, half out of some secret hope.”

“Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the angels' hierarchies? and even if one of them pressed me against his heart: I would be consumed in that overwhelming existence. For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror, which we still are just able to endure, and we are so awed because it serenely disdains to annihilate us. Every angel is terrifying.”

“For our part, when we feel, we evaporate; ah, we breathe ourselves out and away; with each new heartfire we give off a fainter scent. True, someone may tell us: you're in my blood, this room, Spring itself is filled with you . . . To what end? He can't hold us, we vanish within him and around him.”

“Look, I am living. On what? Neither childhood nor future lessens . . . . Superabundant existence wells in my heart.”

“weren’t you always distracted by expectation, as if every event announced a beloved? (Where can you find a place to keep her, with all the huge strange thoughts inside you going and coming and often staying all night.)…”

“A kind of memory that tells us that what we're now striving for was once nearer and truer and attached to us with infinite tenderness. Here all is distance, there it was breath. After the first home the second one seems draughty and strangely sexed.”

“And we, spectators always, everywhere, looking at, never out of, everything! It fills us. We arrange it. It collapses. We re-arrange it, and collapse ourselves. Who's turned us round like this, so that we always, do what we may, retain the attitude of someone who's departing? Just as he, on the last hill, that shows him all his valley for the last time, will turn and stop and linger, we live our lives, for ever taking leave.”

“Isn’t it time that these most ancient sorrows of ours grew fruitful? Time that we tenderly loosed ourselves from the loved one, and, unsteadily, survived: the way the arrow, suddenly all vector, survives the string to be more than itself. For abiding is nowhere.”

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Book Keywords:

striving, existence, home, inspirational, secret, beauty, angels, hope, terror, expectation, future, living, feeling, trees, life, poetry, distraction, memory, sorrow, childhood, elegy, love, shame, thinking

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