Pinterest and Rilke

I love Pinterest.

I love Rainer Marie Rilke. Simply an amazing artist who inspires others. Ever read Letters to a Young Poet? Unbelievably amazing.

Awhile back I was on Pinterest looking for Rilke quotes.

I stumbled on to this pin:

8485762f7cfe897e2a5346dd79328989And I was so excited. What a powerful thought. And I was off on a tangent I wanted to share this with all my artist friends, I wanted to get this as one of my tattoos, I wanted to pin it on so many Pinterest boards.

But I hesitated. Why?

Because I am old school. And I like to verify quotes. I don’t verify all quotes but if it’s something I really, really like and have even considered inking my body with – well, I guarantee I’m gonna verify the damn quote.

I work in a library and began using my mad research skills and couldn’t find anything. I knew this would be difficult to research because Rilke didn’t write in English and his works that I read have been translated. So depending on the translator, the quote is going to be different.

So I contacted two different librarians. Both whom love research and finding obscure information. There are days I love being all nerdy and diving into the obscure.

Several days passed and neither librarian was finding much. They were having the same difficulties with translations and verifying if information they were finding was valid. And then BINGO. One of the librarians stumbled on to more letters of Rilke’s and found an index of the letters and where there might possibly be mention of this quote in part. I scoured the index and found a link to a database that had all the letters online. But I was still wary. I finally obtained the title of the book and requested the book. Two weeks later, the book came in from a university in Texas.

And there in the pages of an old and dusty book, I found this (3rd line of the indented paragraph):

IMG_0663It was one word different on Pinterest. Is it wrong? Not necessarily. Again these are translations of the Austrian poet’s words. Am I going to be putting either version on my body or on my own Pinterest boards? No for the tattoo. Best I stick with the original language if I were to tattoo it. And I probably will pin this on Pinterest cause I love it.

Did I have fun delving into the research and looking for the correct answer? Absolutely.

Go ahead and call me a nerd. I earned it.


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