Saturday, August 13, 2011

Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke

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 …
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. 

These ten letters from Rainer Rilke to Franz Kappus may be small, but they are filled with many words of wisdom and ideas that would keep one thinking for a long time after the pages are closed.

Rilke does not mince words. He speaks of many things to the poet, of life, love, of taking time to be in silence and so much more. All packed into ten short letters.

An excellent read for anyone whose journey is just about to being. Or anyone standing at the crossroads of life. Or, anyone in general.  

“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. It does come. But it comes only to the patient, who are there as though eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly still and wide. I learn it daily, learn it with pain to which I am grateful: patience is everything!”

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