Thursday, February 09, 2012

Must I Write?

"You ask whether your verses are good... Now (since you have allowed me to advise you) I beg you to give up all that... Go into yourself. Search for the reason that bids you write; find out whether it is spreading out its roots in the deepest places of your heart, acknowledge to yourself whether you would have to die if it we denied you to write. This above all- ask yourself in the stillest hour of your night: must I write? Delve into yourself for a deep answer. And if this should be affirmative, if you may meet this earnest question with a strong and simple 'I must,' then build your life according to this necessity; your life even into its most indifferent and slightest hour must be a sign of this urge and a testimony to it."

- Rainer Maria Rilke, "Letters to a Young Poet"

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