Monday, January 1, 2018

A New Year Full of Things

 “And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been, full of work that has never been done, full of tasks, claims, and demands; and let us see that we learn to take it without letting fall too much of what it has to bestow upon those who demand of it necessary, serious, and great things.” -- Rainer Maria Rilke

From a letter to his wife:
"Wir wollen glauben an ein langes Jahr, das uns gegeben ist, neu, unberührt, voll nie gewesener Dinge, voll nie getaner Arbeit, voll Aufgabe, Anspruch und Zumutung. Wir wollen sehen, dass wir's nehmen lernen, ohne allzu viel fallen zu lassen von dem was es zu vergeben hat, an die, die Notwendiges, Ernstes und Großes von ihm verlangen."
Rilke, Briefe. An seine Frau Clara am 1. Januar 1907
To Clara Rilke at Villa Discopoli, Capri (Italy) 1 January 1907
https://archive.org/stream/lettersofrainerm030932mbp/lettersofrainerm030932mbp_djvu.txt

The prose passage from the letter has been recast into poems, variously typeset. You can find them by searching for "rilke neujahr" or "rilke new year poem" or "rilke wir wollen glauben" and so on.

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