Letters to a Young Poet: The Possibility of Being

Front Cover
Fine Communications, May 1, 2002 - Poetry - 221 pages
16 Reviews
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.

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Review: Letters to a Young Poet/The Possibility of Being

User Review  - Rita - Goodreads

Reread this wonderful book because it holds so much inspiration! Read full review

Review: Letters to a Young Poet/The Possibility of Being

User Review  - Adam - Goodreads

One of the most important and special things I've ever read. Read full review

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About the author (2002)

More than any other modern German writer, Rainer Maria Rilke seems to match our romantic idea of what a poet should be, though, as with many writers, separating artistry from affectation is often difficult. Restless, sensitive, reverent, yet egotistical, Rilke often seems to hover in his poems like a sort of ethereal being. He was born in 1875 to a wealthy family in Prague. After a few years devoted to the study of art and literature, he spent most of his adult life wandering among the European capitals and devoting himself single-mindedly to poetry. His early poems reflect his interest in the visual and plastic arts, as he tries to lose himself in contemplation of objects such as an antique torso of Apollo.His later books of poetry, such as Duino Elegies (1923) and Sonnets to Orpheus (1923), on the contrary, focus intently on internal realms. The poetry of Rilke is noted, above all, for metaphysical and psychological nuances.

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