Archive for rainer wilke

04.27.2008

Posted in Poetry, Prose, Quotes with tags , , , , , , on April 27, 2008 by Ryan Sanford Smith

Letters To a Young Poet (an excerpt from the collected letters of Rainer Wilke)

You ask whether your verses are good. You ask me. You have asked others before. You send them to magazines. You compare them with other poems, and you are disturbed when certain editors reject your efforts. Now (since you have allowed me to advise you) I beg you to give up all that. You are looking outward, and that above all you should not do now. Nobody can counsel and help you, nobody. There is only one single way. Go into yourself. Search for the reason that bids you write; find out whether it is spread out its roots in the deepest places of your heart, acknowledge to yourself whether you would have to die if it were denied you to write. This above all–ask yourself in the stillest hour of the night: must I write?

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