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I know Letters to a Young Poet, a work composed of letters by the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, is probably not very canonical but it does address philosophical and existential questions so I hope someone on this site might be able to help.

He mentions the word "Things", capitalized T. He first mentions it in letter 4 and here are some of the quotes:

" ...when I was in Paris, where everything echoes and fades away differently because of the excessive noise that makes Things tremble."

"But even so, I think that you will not have to remain without a solution if you trust in Things that are like the ones my eyes are now resting upon. If you trust in Nature, in what is simple in Nature, in the small Things that hardly anyone sees and that can so suddenly become huge, immeasurable;"

"...which speaks and chatters there (and how talkative it is!), and one slowly learns to recognize the very few Things in which something eternal endures that one can love and something solitary that one can gently take part in." "The situation you must live in now is not more heavily burdened with conventions, prejudices, and false ideas than all the other situations, and if there are some that pretend to offer a greater freedom, there is nevertheless none that is, in itself, vast and spacious and connected to the important Things that the truest kind of life consists of."

Does anyone know what these "Things" are, it seems they are some sort of metaphysical entities?

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The following quotes are from the letter from 16.7.1903

  • ... excessive noise that makes Things tremble = des übergroßen Lärms, von dem die Dinge zittern

  • ... if you trust in Things = wenn Sie sich an Dinge halten

  • ... in the small Things = an das Kleine

The following quote is from the letter from 29.10.1903

  • … the very few Things in which something eternal endures = die sehr wenigen Dinge [...], in denen Ewigkeit dauert

The following quote is from the letter from 23.12.1903

  • … connected to the important Things = mit den großen Dingen […] in Beziehung ist

At all locations the term Thing has no particular philosophical meaning. The term is used just in the ordinary sense of thing (with small initial). I consider it a wrong translation to emphasize the term by a capital initial.

Note: In German the word "Ding" has always a capital initial because it is a noun.

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