Rainer Maria Rilke

Rainer Maria Rilke

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) was born in December 1875 in Prague, and is considered one of the greatest German language writers to have ever lived. He published his first collection of verse, Leben und Lieder (Life and Songs), in 1894, while he was still at school, and continued to write poetry and prose throughout his life, becoming a master of both. He is perhaps best known for his Duino Elegies, Sonnets to Orpheus, and The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge. Rilke died in Switzerland in 1926, after being diagnosed with leukaemia, and was buried in the churchyard of Raron. His chosen epitaph was ‘Rose, oh pure contradiction, to be no-one’s sleep under so many lids.’