“It would take a deeply cynical heart not to fall in love with Rainer Maria Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet,” claims Amazon book reviewer Jennifer Buckendorff. Rainer Maria Rilke is considered one of the greatest poets who ever wrote in the German language. His most famous works are Sonnets to Orpheus, The Duino Elegies, Letters to a Young Poet, and The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge. His collected work is comprised of hundreds of other poems, essays, plays, and stories. In 1903, Rilke wrote 10 sweepingly emotional letters, addressing a former student of one of his own teachers, producing what Buckendorff calls “the one-on-one equivalent of the modern writing workshop.”
The letters are produced in some of the world’s most romantic cities such as Paris, Rome and the outskirts of Pisa, giving both his subject (and the reader) a detailed preface of the physical landscape he writes from.
“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.” (Excerpt from Letters to a Young Poet)
Whether you’re an aspiring poet, artist, or just a lover of esteemed insight, Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet will leave you inspired and appreciative of the beauty within and around us.
Letters to a Young Poet
Rainer Maria Rilke