Top positive review
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on June 3, 2017
If you have a chance to write a letter to a younger self, what that letter is going to be about? Between 1903 and 1910, Rainer Maria Rilke wrote 10 letters to Franz Kappus, a young poet, on the matter of poetry, existence, love, truth, and solitude. The sequence of letters, which Mr. Kappus published three years after Rilke’s death, reflected overarching themes of Rilke’s creative development.
Politely declining to look at Mr. Kappus poems Rilke urges a young poet not to look for outside or the other person in order to fill that solitude rather exploring inside and embracing whatever comes his way. Rilke creates a framework how to become a genuine through recognizing Nature and Things around, listening to the inner self, and reflecting those. He also emphasizes the gift and burden of solitude making clear that it is not worth to be replaced by a cheap communication. “…there is only one solitude, and it is vast, heavy, difficult to bear, and almost everyone has hours when he would gladly exchange it for any kind of sociability, however trivial or cheap…” He asks a young poet to look at life and its different phenomena from the prism of solitude and not escaping it.
This tiny book is a must-read for anyone between age 20-35.