Patience & poetry for photographers

“Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language”.


Having now decided to channel both poetry and photos into one blog, it was fortuitous to come across a guest post by Maarten Rots in which he appropriates Rilke’s advice to a poet as his guide to photography. I am quoting extensively from his article here as aide memoire:-

“It’s good to be reminded that creativity is not a constant stream, but more like a river: sometimes it’s overflowing and at other moments it’s hardly there”.


“It’s hard not to fall into the trap of outside confirmation. After all, when you’re taking pictures there’s more often than not the wish to share them with others. Hard as it may be sometimes, try not to rely on outside approval, both online and in real life”.


“We all go through harder and darker periods in our lives and it often does not add to our motivation to continue our photography. Although it may be tough to start again, try to use misery and uneasiness as a tool”.


“Use your doubt as a starting point to ask yourself questions: questions about your work, not questions about yourself”.


“Be alert to the small and simple things in your daily surroundings, you can use them in a poetic way and transform the mundane into the magical”.


“Try to feel at ease with the discomfort of not knowing – the answers will become clear when you are ready, it’s something you can’t force”.

For Photographers:
Maarten Rots: Poetry & Photography: How Rainer Maria Rilke is relevant to being a photographer

For Poets:
Rilke: Letters to a Young Poet – The First Letter

10 thoughts on “Patience & poetry for photographers

  1. So much here that one knows is true, but somehow forgets, and then ends up feeling grumpy. That is also a very fine duck. And I’m very struck by the monochrome wet setts and metal curves.

      1. Hard to be at all grumpy at your place. Water is also good. We’ve had more of it today, though in a fierce, but brief, tropical downpour. I was glad I’d just got the washing in.

  2. Wonderful quotes and reminders. I love the series of images you used to go with them, especially the reflections. 🙂

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