“Alas those verses one writes in youth aren’t much. One should wait to gather sweetness and light all his life, a long one if possible, and then maybe at the end he might write ten good lines. For poetry isn’t, as people imagine, merely feelings (these come soon enough) it is experience. To write one line, a man ought to see many cities, people, and things; he must learn to know animals and the way of birds in the air, and how little flowers open in the morning. One must be able to think back the way to unknown places…and to paintings long forseen, to days of childhood…and to parents…to days on the sea…to nights of travel…and one must have the memories of many nights of love, not two alike…and the screams of women in childbirth…one must have sat by the dying, one must have sat by the dead in a room with open windows…but it is not enough to have memories. One must be able to forget them and have vast patience until they come again…and when they become blood within us, and glances and gestures…then first it can happen that in a rare hour the first word of a verse may arise and come forth” Rilke quoted in the introduction to Rilke Selected Poems, intro by CF MacIntyre p4, Malte pp25-27 from,
This qoute reminded me of a drawing teacher I had who said I was allowed to complain about painting a bad portrait after I had painted 500. Another prof in college said he can't think of any great art that didn't take a long time to make.