Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
Letters to a Young Poet Paperback – August 1, 1993
"The Lost Girls of Devon" by Barbara O'Neal
From the Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestselling author of When We Believed in Mermaids comes a story of four generations of women grappling with family betrayals and long-buried secrets. | Learn more
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Frequently bought together
The poet prefaced each letter with an evocative notation of the city in which he wrote, including Paris, Rome, and the outskirts of Pisa. Yet he spends most of the time encouraging the student in his own work, delivering a sublime, one-on-one equivalent of the modern writing workshop:
Go into yourself and test the deeps in which your life takes rise; at its source you will find the answer to the question whether you must create. Accept it, just as it sounds, without inquiring into it. Perhaps it will turn out that you are called to be an artist. Then take that destiny upon yourself and bear it, its burden and its greatness, without ever asking what recompense might come from outside.Every page is stamped with Rilke's characteristic grace, and the book is free of the breathless effect that occasionally mars his poetry. His ideas on gender and the role of the artist are also surprisingly prescient. And even his retrograde comment on the "beauty of the virgin" (which the poet derives from the fact that she "has not yet achieved anything") is counterbalanced by his perception that "the sexes are more related than we think." Those looking for an alluring image of the solitary artist--and for an astonishing quotient of wisdom--will find both in Letters to a Young Poet. --Jennifer Buckendorff
About the Author
Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926), the author of Sonnets to Orpheus and Letters to a Young Poet, was one of the greatest poets of the German language.
M. D. Herter Norton is a publisher and translator. Together with her husband William Warder Norton, she founded the publishing company W. W. Norton & Company. Her work as translator includes the translation of works by Rainer Maria Rilke.
- Item Weight : 3.6 ounces
- Paperback : 123 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0393310396
- ISBN-13 : 978-0393310399
- Product Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.1 inches
- Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company; Revised Edition (August 1, 1993)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #11,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
This fascinating and poetic slender little tome is a collection of ten letters written from Rainer Maria Rilke to a young person trying to decide between a career as a writer or one in the army. I love Rilke. His heart is in evidence among the pages and phrase herein and this book was/is so beautiful to me. I need to buy the Letters to a Young Poet Kindle version, for my Kindle Paperwhite. 'Letters to a Young Poet' is a book that one can read, and re-read, over the course of a lifetime. The work may be most inspiring for creatives, particularly writers, yet the wisdom here is universal. A desire to be and do, whatever the life area, can be assessed by the wisdom contained herein. As Rilke queries the recipient of his letters, find out the reason that commands you to do something. Is this something you must do? If so, then "build your life in accordance with this necessity." ~Happy reading~*
Mr. Kappus, a young poet struggling with life in military school, discovers that he is enrolled in the same military school that Rilke used to attend. Therefore, he decides to seek Rilke's advice and opinions in his poetic endeavors through written correspondence. This book is a compilation of ten letters Rilke sends in response to Mr. Kappus's letters. After the letters themselves, the book builds background context to the letters by informing the reader about Rilke's life and state of mind during the time these letters were written.
I found this book inspiring and saddening at the same time. It isn't really the advice Rilke offers that I value and enjoy so much. My love for this collection of letters stems from the incredible word pictures that Rilke paints in my head and his touchingly sincere style of writing. For example he paints a visual of patience with, "Being an artist means, not reckoning and counting, but ripening like the tree which does not force its sap and stands confident in the storms of spring without the fear that after them may come no summer." His words stir something in the heart.
He writes with such intensity and depth that you can see each lesson taught and each thought that is shared has been earned at a high cost to the writer. He speaks to the young poet on solitude and patience for which he has himself been battling to achieve. As I read, I began to feel that maybe he is actually advising and encouraging himself as much as Mr. Kappus through writing these letters.
At first I didn't really find the ending section of the book on the life of Rilke very interesting. In fact, it bored me until I got to the background of about Rilke's sixth letter which contained more of Rilke's own words from correspondence he had with other people. But when I went back and read the letters again, I saw even more depth and emotion in them revealed by the context built in that ending biographical section.
This is one of those books I'd keep handy for repeated reading. The reason I rated the book a 4 instead of 5 is because I don't know if this book is for everyone. I really enjoyed it, and I truly believe most will. But I could see some that will read it and just not find the beauty in it. If you love the magnitude of words, this book is for you. Drink it deeply and enjoy!