Enter your mobile number 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.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Letters to a Young Poet Paperback – May 4, 2009
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The publisher here is "BN Publishing" which I assume means "Barnes & Noble" (although the "about us" link on their website says almost nothing about them!).
The Snell translation seems to me quite adequate. Here is a sample of one sentence done by three translators:
"And this more human love...will resemble that which we are preparing with struggle and toil, the love that consists in this, that two solitudes protect and border and salute each other." -- H. D. Herter Norton (1934)
"And this more human love...will be something like that which we are preparing with struggle and toil, the love which consists in the mutual guarding, bordering and saluting of two solitudes." -- Reginald Snell (1945)
"And this more human love... will resemble what we are now preparing painfully and with great struggle: the love that consists in this: that two solitudes protect and border and greet each other." -- Stephen Mitchell (1984)
Of these three, the Norton seems to me to have the best cadence, but beyond that Rilke's sense is present in all.
One does wonder, however, why BN Publishing felt free to erase this book's origins.Read more ›
-Whenever I'm overwhelmed by the noise, violence and sorrows of the world...
-Whenever I am deceiving my true nature...
-Whenever I lose touch with my artistic spirit...
I reach for this book and it helps me find my way back to that quiet place inside, reminding me that 'feeling' alone is not the same as 'being' alone and that our solitude is a gift.
That said, the Kindle version is indefensibly poorly-done. There are paragraph breaks, and that's the extent of its formatting. The book should be outstandingly simple to format correctly. It's an introduction followed by ten letters. However, this version simply runs together, making it difficult to read and parse through. Purchase the physical version. You'll be glad you did.
One wonders if Rilke was indeed writing to the world. His replies to Kappus are lofty but sincere, and filled with passages that seem destined for quotation:
"Do not search now for the answers which cannot be given you because you could not live them. It is a matter of living everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, one distant day live right into the answer."
For Rilke, bite-size gifts of mature sophistry (in the Classical sense of the word) will not suffice. In these letters to Kappus, Rilke seizes the opportunity to work out his own philosophy through provocative and probing questions. We learn that Kappus, during the course of his military service, has lost faith in God, and Rilke asks him, "Is it not much rather the case that you have never yet possessed him? ... Do you believe a child can hold him, him whom men bear only with difficulty, whose weight bows down on the aged?" Rilke is ready to be not only a literary mentor, but a theological counselor.Read more ›
The letters struck a cord in me quite promptly as I started reading them, and effectively finished the book in one sitting - fully engrossed in Rilke's writing. Rilke discusses many matters with Kappus, firstly stating how, when creating art, it needs to come from your innermost being: "go into yourself and see how deep the place is which your life flows; at its source you will find the answer to the question of whether or not you must create"
Rilke continues to discuss love, how meaningless criticism is from outside sources are on art you have put your soul into to create, the importance of solitude, and how important it is to not get involved in questioning life constantly, as it will always answer your question in time. I'll end this review with a quote from the book that is conclusive and leaves you with an incentive to read this wonderful work!
"I want to add just one more bit of advice: to keep growing, silently and earnestly, through your whole development; you couldn't disturb it any more violently than by looking outside and waiting for outside answers to questions that only your innermost feeling, in your quietest hour, can perhaps answer."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Insightful, deep, and powerful. I have returned to it again and again, and depending upon where I am in my life, there is always something different that resonates with me. Read morePublished 7 months ago by See Saw Jones
Buddhist meditations are like gold in your body. The Tao is flowing melody. The message of love in Christianity is a soothing balm. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Michael H. Haussler
Read this for a conservatory program scene study class and it was so enlighteningPublished 11 months ago by Claudia Paguay
Don't let the cover image fool you. This edition is a tired translation and hopelessly out of date I would not recommend it, especially if you're new to Rilke.Published 11 months ago by W. Robinson
"Be patient with all that is unsolved in your life and learn to love the questions themselves." (From Letters to a Young Poet). Rainer M. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Anne Glazier
Im not sure why I bought this book, but im glad I did. Some of the best poems ive ever read, especially from Europe during this period. Enjoyed it thoroughly.Published 19 months ago by Joshua T. Eadie
Some of the most beautiful writing I've come across in a long time. I've got a long quote of his printed and hanging on my wall. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Danyel C. Gimeno