Only those whom we have never possessed can pass away. And we cannot even mourn not having truly possessed this person or that--we have neither time, nor strength nor right to do so, for the most fleeting experience of any real possession . . . casts us back into ourselves with so much force, gives us so much to do there, demands so much loneliest development from us, that it suffices to absorb our individual attention for ever.
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This quote is linked to the event - Bereavement
Source Notes: Letter to Clara Rilke, 12 August 1904, Selected Letters: 1902-1926, trans. R. F. C. Hull (1988).
Rainer Maria Rilke (4 December 1875 29 December 1926) is generally considered the German language's greatest 20th century poet. Though he never found a consistent verse form, his haunting images tend to focus on the problems of Christianity in an age of disbelief, solitude, and profound anxiety. He is generally placed in the school of modernist poets, though his religious dilemmas may set him apart from some of his peers.
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