"The purpose of life is to be defeated
by greater and greater things."
~Rainer Maria Rilke

It’s been a quiet two weeks hasn’t it? I’ve seen the hit count on my web blog grow, and grow— so I apologize for not updating. I am finally through with my first year of college and wonder,

Why does saying that make me feel so old, yet sound so young?

Regardless, it is done and over with now. I thank those that have supported me on this journey leading up to the release of the book: everyone who submitted art, especially Samantha Thayer, Khaila Sun, and Mehdi Vasigh, Adam Camp for various photographs to provide stimulating conversation on the blog, my publisher for making this all possible…

There are so many to thank. Hell, I can thank Maya Goldberg for being there to bounce ideas off of, and Luke Lavanway for telling me that I didn’t look the part of a writer at all. MYNAMEISJOHNMICHAEL putting up a shout out on their website pretty much made my spring, not to mention Leo giving me a shout out at the show.

All along, I’ve wondered how I was going to make this blog personal, but well…

Thanks. I play the part of arrogance and over confident well— but know that not a day goes by that I don’t recognize my saints.


First off, I’d like to thank Kelsey Rogut for introducing me to the poet Rainer Maria Rilke. If you do as you should, and read the quotes I take the time to put on the top of each blog entry, you’ll find that today I’ve chosen one by the poet.

Now, do not that this as my acceptance of poetry as a form of literature… only kidding. While I have limited to no skill at poetry, as my previous poem submissions to this blog will attest, I do enjoy Rilke’s work.

While I’m only experienced with his Duino Elegies, his somber tone and word choice surprise me.

He sounds too young for his writing in my opinion. Despite the ten year creative drought that interrupted the writing of Duino, Rilke fails to have the voice of the older man that completed the poems. He sounds too young, so inexperienced in his experience with Love and the more violent emotions known to man.

But the youth in his writing bleeds through with desperation, a subconscious recognition within himself, perhaps, of getting old? I’m not interested enough to wikipedia him yet, to discover his history of love interests, but I am willing to bet that they were few, and far between— with a healthy dose of obsession.

(Personally, between you and me, I don’t see what’s affection without at least a noticeable amount of obsession. It is one thing to call five times in ten minutes but quite another to find yourself thinking of someone when before you’d think of nothing at all.)

But what’s poetry without discussion?

"Isn’t it time that we lovingly freed ourselves from the beloved and, quivering, endured: as the arrow endures the bowstring’s tension, so that gathered in the snap of release it can be more than itself. For there is no place where we can remain." ~ First Elegy, Duino Elegies

Now, Kelsey and I discussed this particular passage. The two key wordings to feel the meaning of the poem was said to be either:

1. Quivering, endured
2. Tension, Snap of Release

I’m interested to see what you guys think. Which pair enables the poem to project itself onto the reader more, on a personal, more grasping level? Or perhaps, something else connects more with you? Feel free to share. As always, leave your feedback as a comment below and I’ll be sure to get back to you!


Review of my book:

Here is an excerpt of a review of my book:

"Through the complex lens of a teenager who inhabits the creative acumen of a seasoned writer, Terence Sanders proves that age does not determine skill, nor does one need to be experienced in life to be a shrewd observer of it. The intricacy of relationships; inward torments and ruminations, and imagery rich in metaphorical puzzles, weave through a collection of short stories animated with angst and desire, human despair and love."

—– ALBIE CLEMMER, teacher, poet, ecopsychologist


She’s a retired teacher of mine, who happens to be running a poetry and writing retreat for authors both accomplished and new in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in late June. Contact me if you want more information about it.  Also, be sure to keep an eye out for her published collection of poetry that’s due out in the coming months!



Today, I’m taking a break from the ongoing Writing Project to do another literary exercise. With the spotlight on Rainer Maria Rilke, I thought I’d provide my readers with an opportunity and a forum to discuss, analyze, and otherwise get excited about poetry— something even I rarely can do.

Excerpt from Duino Elegies: The 3rd Elegy

Observe: a season does not contain
our whole lifetime, as with a lilac.
When we love, a slower sap,
thicker than centuries,
courses through our embrace.
O my love, consider: the child
we would fain conceive was never
an individual but a multitude,
the personification of the fathers
lying in our depths like mountains
leveled to the lowest summits; like
the barren riverbeds of mothers past-
the entire soundless panorama,
whether cloudy or clear,
of mutual destiny.
Before you,
sweet lover,
this was…


My thoughts, questions, ideas-I-hopelessly-pray-you-disagree-with:

Thicker than centuries: now here is something I enjoy. The thickness of time could imply many things, but the imagery that springs into my mind is that of a book as a metaphor of Time. A dusty, thick text that recounts love of all forms for years past (and as a part of this great thing we call humanity— with mountains within us higher than we’ll ever climb alone but pits below that can only exceed our worst idea of Hell— I am grateful that it is quite a thick volume).

The comparisons and use of nature to describe fathers and mothers, it’s something lost in our age of technology. How many among my readers can honestly say they would prefer the calm of the wilderness to an all expense paid trip to the highlights of New York City? I, too, am a victim to this mindset in society. I can use all the excuse of loving to converse and study people I want, but at the end of the day: poetry like Rilke’s requires an affection of nature that I fear I can only read of.

But why leveled to the lowest summits? Why the barren riverbeds? Why did he he consider the child the personification such… limitations? I wonder if he was trying to push the idea of humanity at the barest minimum of nature, or was the negative connotation specifically geared toward… our failures as a race.

Despite tones of a pessimist, I don’t believe he looked to harshly on humanity. But I’m not sure.

I’m just glad it makes me think.

So feel free and leave your thoughts, analysis, or feedback to the poem! Hit the comment button on the bottom, and support your favorite starving author!