Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet are arguably the most famous and beloved letters of the twentieth century. Written when the poet was himself still a young man, with most of his greatest work before him, they were addressed to a student who had sent Rilke some of his own writing, asking for advice on becoming a writer. The two never met, but over a period of several years Rilke wrote him these ten letters, which have been cherished by hundreds of thousands of readers for what Stephen Mitchell calls in his Foreword the ...
Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet are arguably the most famous and beloved letters of the twentieth century. Written when the poet was himself still a young man, with most of his greatest work before him, they were addressed to a student who had sent Rilke some of his own writing, asking for advice on becoming a writer. The two never met, but over a period of several years Rilke wrote him these ten letters, which have been cherished by hundreds of thousands of readers for what Stephen Mitchell calls in his Foreword the "vibrant and deeply felt experience of life" that informs them. Eloquent and personal, Rilke's meditations on the creative process, the nature of love, the wisdom of children, and the importance of solitude offer a wealth of spiritual and practical guidance for anyone. At the same time, this collection, in Stephen Mitchell's definitive translation, reveals the thoughts and feelings of one of the greatest poets and most distinctive sensibilities of the twentieth century.
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This book is really inspirational! As an artist, it really helped me see things in myself I never knew were there, and to connect more with my subconcious. If you enjoy this book, also engage yourself in another quick, but wonderful read, "Letters to a Young Artist." It's more current, and set up in the same fashion, just speaks to a the visual crowd.
Aug 16, 2007
Robert Duncan Praised This Book
Robert Duncan, the San Francisco poet, praised Rilke to the skies in his graduate seminar Advanced Poetry workshop (English 204) at San Francisco State in the spring of 1965. Following Robert's lead, this book became my daily companion the entire spring. I was working in the UC Berkeley library and would sneak off into a cubicle in the stacks during breaks and lunch hours to devour Letters to a Young Poet. Highly recommended for young (and older!) writers.
Jul 26, 2007
Solace in solitude
This book pulled me through during my spells of depression. Rilke speaks with utmost warmth and sincerity that is so much akin to a friend. Here are some excerpts from the book.
"Things aren't so tangible and sayable as people would usually have us believe; most experiences are unsayable, they happen in a space that no word has ever entered"
"You are so young, so much before all beginning, and I would like to beg you, dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer."
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