Rilke quote
May 14, 2015 5:39 AM   Subscribe

I read an article that claimed Rilke wrote that romantic lovers "keep on using each other to hide their own fates." Where did he write this? Googling reveals nothing except the article itself, but it may just be a non-standard translation from German.
posted by deathpanels to Writing & Language (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I think it is Letters to a Young Poet, though I may be wrong. I love this book! One of my favorite quotes is "Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer."
posted by wilywabbit at 5:41 AM on May 14, 2015 [6 favorites]

Duino elegies. First elegy.
posted by aielen at 5:45 AM on May 14, 2015

Best answer: First Elegy:

. . . Is it any less difficult for lovers?
But they keep on using each other to hide their own fate.

posted by Think_Long at 5:47 AM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

Re the translation, it's the Stephen Mitchell translation.
posted by aielen at 5:48 AM on May 14, 2015

The German is:

...Ist sie den Liebenden leichter?
Ach, sie verdecken sich nur mit einander ihr Los.

Another translation (from here):

Ah, they only hide their fate between themselves.

Note that Los is etymologically (and, I believe, semantically) the same as English lot in the sense 'portion (assigned to one), fate.'
posted by languagehat at 12:01 PM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

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