Letters to a Young Poet: The Possibility of Being
, May 1, 2002
- 221 pages
This volume collects essential work by one of the twentieth century's greatest writers, Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926). Rilke's prose and poetry is necessary reading for anyone interested in modern literature, but the poet's words will captivate anyone who wishes to take a deep look at life -- and at themselves. Letters to a Young Poet, one of the best-loved books among writers even today, contains Rilke's wise, nurturing missives to another aspiring young writer, Franz Xaver Kappus, who looked to Rilke for spiritual and creative guidance. Rilke's response turned the questioner's gaze around to point within himself in the quest for answers to life and art's big questions. Rlike rejects any reliance on others to validate one's artistic endeavors. He believed writing is an inner journey, a slow process of self-discovery. Yet the poet also encourages Kappus to observe his own life and surroundings to find his subject matter and inspiration. The poet must transform the everyday reality that's all around him.