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Letters to a Young Poet

Rainer Maria Rilke

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.

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Book Information

Publisher: Dover Publications.
Publish Date: 04/17/2019
Pages: 80
ISBN-13: 9780486831855
ISBN-10: 048683185X
Language: English

Full Description

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.

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