Letters to a Young Poet

Front Cover
Courier Corporation, May 8, 2002 - Poetry - 80 pages
30 Reviews
In 1903, a student at a military academy sent some of his verses to a well-known Austrian poet, requesting an assessment of their value. The older artist, Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926), replied to the novice in this series of letters - an archive of remarkable insights into the ideas behind Rilke's greatest poetry. The ten letters reproduced here were written during an important stage in Rilke's artistic development, and they contain many of the themes that later appeared in his best works.

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User Review  - MikeFutcher - LibraryThing

A simply astonishing piece, all the more so for the fact that it was never intended for publication. In 1903, an aspiring young poet wrote a letter to the established poet Rainer Maria Rilke ... Read full review

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User Review  - reganrule - LibraryThing

I've read this every coupla years or so since I was of the age of the "young poet." I've consistently found something new in it as I grow older. Reading it as a full-fledged adult is an entirely ... 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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