Rumi and Rilke

I've been delving slightly and slowly into both of these poets' writings. So far my favorite from Rumi is a poem called Green Ears in The Essential Rumi. It's a long poem, and I'll give a few short quotes:

"...Manyness/ is having sixty different emotions./Unity is peace, and silence." (p. 241)

"This present thirst is your real intelligence,/not the back-and-forth, mercurial brightness,/Discursiveness dies and gets up in the grave.//This contemplative joy does not./Scholarly knowledge is a vertito, an exhausted famousness./Listening is better." (p. 242)

"Love is the falconer, your king." (p. 243)


Rilke's book Letters to a Young Poet is astonishing. To collect quotes would be to xerox almost the whole thing. It is his celebration of solitude that I find most compelling. But still, a few quotes:

"Being an artist means: not numbering and counting, but ripening like a tree, which doesn't force its sap and stands confidently in the storms of spring, not afraid that afterward summer may not come. It does come. But it comes only to those who are patient, who are there as if eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly silent and vast." (p. 24)

"...the love that consists in this: that two solitudes protect and border and greet each other." (p. 78)

"We are solitary. We can delude ourselves about this and act as if it were not true. That is all. But how much better it is to recognize that we are alonge; yes, even to begin from this realization. It will, of course, make us dizzy; for all points that our eyes used to rest on are taken away from us, there is no longer anything near us, and everything far away in infinitely far. [...] We must accept our reality as vastly as we possibly can; everything, even the unprecedented, must be possible within it." (p. 87-88)