Rilke and Things
When I first heard about Rilke, many years ago, one of the things that impressed me was the way he packed his suitcase. I read in some learned work that when he went on his travels (and he travelled a lot) he put everything in his bag as carefully as he structured his poems. I suppose I remember this because I had never thought before of the arrangement of shirts and socks as an aspect of artistic endeavour. But of course it sums him up. It was characteristic. For Rilke nothing was trivial, and order was to be found, and had to be found, in all things.
I’m going to begin by being rather daring, even impertinent. I’m going to assume ignorance: I’m going to assume you
are ignorant, I mean: I assumed my own ignorance long ago. The best thing about ignorance is that it makes