Born in Prague when it was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire and recognized today as a master of verse, poet Rainer Maria Rilke was considerably less well known in 1902 when he received a heartfelt letter from an aspiring poet. A 19-year-old student sent Rilke some of his verses, seeking an opinion of their worth. Rilke declined to offer a critique, instead encouraging the student to rely upon his own inner judgment: "Nobody can advise and help you, nobody. There is only one single means. Go inside yourself." This seemingly dismissive letter proved to be the first of ten, written during a six-year period that coincided with an important stage in Rilke's artistic development. The poet offered his young correspondent further advice on developing a rich inner life as well as guidance on broader philosophical and existential issues. These letters, which explore many of the themes that later emerged in Rilke's best works, remain a captivating source of insights into the artistic identity and process.
Rilke's timeless letters about poetry, sensitive observation, and the complicated workings of the human heart. Born in 1875, the great German lyric poet Rainer Maria Rilke published his first collection of poems in 1898 and went on to become renowned for his delicate depiction of the workings of the human heart. Drawn by some sympathetic note in his poems, young people often wrote to Rilke with their problems and hopes. From 1903 to 1908 Rilke wrote a series of remarkable responses to a young, would-be poet on poetry and on surviving as a sensitive observer in a harsh world. Those letters, still a fresh source of inspiration and insight, are accompanied here by a chronicle of Rilke's life that shows what he was experiencing in his own relationship to life and work when he wrote them.
These have been called the most famous and beloved letters of the past century. Rainer Maria Rilke himself said that much of his creative expression went into his correspondence, and here he touches upon a wide range of subjects that will interest writers, artists,and thinkers. This luminous translation of Rainer Maria Rilke's classic offers brilliant inspiration to all people who seek to know and express their inner truth. Letters to a Young Poet is a classic that should be required reading for anyone who dreams of expressing themselves creatively.
Nearly a century after the publication of Rilke’s inspirational work, the missing letters of the young poet himself finally appear in this canonical edition. For more than ninety years, eager writers and young poets, even those simply looking for a purpose in life, have embraced the wisdom of Rainer Maria Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet, first published in 1929. Most readers and scholars assumed that the letters from young poet were forever lost to posterity. Yet, shockingly, the letters were recently discovered by Erich Unglaub, a Rilke scholar, and published in German in 2019. The acclaimed translator Damion Searls has now not only retranslated Rilke’s original letters but also translated the letters by Franz Xaver Kappus, an Austrian military cadet and, yes, aspiring poet. This timeless edition, in addition to joining the two sets of letters together for the first time in English, provides a new window into the workings of Rilke’s visionary poetic and philosophical mind, allowing us to reexperience the literary genius of one of the most inspiring works of twentieth-century literature.
A letter from Virginia Woolf to an aspiring poet who had written to her for help with composition. A fascinating insight into the way Woolf thought of poetry.
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.
"This miracle of a book, perhaps the most beautiful group of poetic translations this century has ever produced," (Chicago Tribune) should stand as the definitive English language version.
In these intimate pages, award-winning Catalan poet Joan Margarit offers a passionate defense of poetry and of the intelligible poem—the well-made text that can provide refuge, wisdom, and consolation. Inspired by Rilke's classic Letters to a Young Poet, this slender volume explores poetry as vocation, obsession, and partnership between writer and reader, a "road toward inner growth." For Margarit, poetry promises "a clarity that allows us mysteriously to live without the need to forget." This is essential reading for poets young and old, writers, and readers seeking insights into the creative process and "the way both poet and reader can find their own way to face solitude."
As a young man, Rabindranath Tagore wrote a series of letters to his niece during what he described as the most productive period of his life. By turns contemplative and playful, gentle and impassioned, Tagore’s letters abound in incredible insights—from sharply comical portrayals of English sahibs to lively anecdotes about family life, from thoughts on the nature of poetry to spiritual contemplation and inner feeling. And coursing through all these letters, like a ceaseless heartbeat, is Tagore’s deep love for the natural splendour of Bengal. In this manner, this volume also serves as a prose companion to his magnificent work Gitanjali. Letters from a Young Poet shimmers with wit and warmth, and offers unforgettable vignettes of the young poet in those happy days before extraordinary fame found him.
Presents Rilke's 1922 Sonnets to Orpheus, written in a burst of inspiration, and expressing a vision of a state of being in which all the ordinary human dichotomies are reconciled in an infinite wholeness. Also included is his Letters to a young poet, an influential series of letters written to a young officer cadet on the subject of poetics.