Advice from the Poet

Happy New Year, welcome back to campus, and welcome to spring semester. I hope it will be a good one for you. May you take courses that will introduce you to new material that will excite you, will challenge you, and with luck will help prepare you for a future of purpose. That future will come soon enough. Enjoy this semester.

I read a speech recently that quoted the German poet Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet. The advice Rilke offered is good for all of us, not just aspiring poets:

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

May you live the questions in your life now, be they career questions, or personal questions or philosophical questions. And may you then gradually live into the answers. Have a good semester.

Author: Patricia Rose

Patricia Rose is the Director of Career Services at the University of Pennsylvania.