Letters to a Young Poet

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9780393310399: Letters to a Young Poet

Rilke's timeless letters about poetry, sensitive observation, and the complicated workings of the human heart.

Born in 1875, the great German lyric poet Rainer Maria Rilke published his first collection of poems in 1898 and went on to become renowned for his delicate depiction of the workings of the human heart. Drawn by some sympathetic note in his poems, young people often wrote to Rilke with their problems and hopes. From 1903 to 1908 Rilke wrote a series of remarkable responses to a young, would-be poet on poetry and on surviving as a sensitive observer in a harsh world. Those letters, still a fresh source of inspiration and insight, are accompanied here by a chronicle of Rilke's life that shows what he was experiencing in his own relationship to life and work when he wrote them. 

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Review:

It would take a deeply cynical heart not to fall in love with Rainer Maria Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet. At the end of this millennium, his slender book holds everything a student of the century could want: the unedited thoughts of (arguably) the most important European poet of the modern age. Rilke wrote these 10 sweepingly emotional letters in 1903, addressing a former student of one of his own teachers. The recipient was wise enough to omit his own inquiries from the finished product, which means that we get a marvelously undiluted dose of Rilkean aesthetics and exhortation.

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) is 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, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, and The Book of Hours.

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 Marie Rilke.

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Rainer Maria Rilke
Editore: W. W. Norton & Company (1993)
ISBN 10: 0393310396 ISBN 13: 9780393310399
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Descrizione libro W. W. Norton & Company, 1993. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Never used!. Codice libro della libreria 0393310396

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Descrizione libro WW Norton Co, United States, 1993. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. New edition. Language: English . Brand New Book. Drawn by some sympathetic note in one of his poems, young people often wrote to Rilke with their problems and hopes. From 1903 to 1908 Rilke wrote a series of remarkable responses to a young would-be poet, on poetry and on surviving as a sensitive observer in a harsh world. An accompanying chronicle of Rilke s life shows what he was experiencing in his own relationship to life and work when he wrote these letters. Codice libro della libreria AAS9780393310399

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Descrizione libro W. W. Norton & Company 2004-08-24, 2004. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Paperback. Publisher overstock, may contain remainder mark on edge. Codice libro della libreria 9780393310399B

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Descrizione libro 1993. PAP. Condizione libro: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Codice libro della libreria IB-9780393310399

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Descrizione libro WW Norton Co, United States, 1993. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. New edition. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Drawn by some sympathetic note in one of his poems, young people often wrote to Rilke with their problems and hopes. From 1903 to 1908 Rilke wrote a series of remarkable responses to a young would-be poet, on poetry and on surviving as a sensitive observer in a harsh world. An accompanying chronicle of Rilke s life shows what he was experiencing in his own relationship to life and work when he wrote these letters. Codice libro della libreria BTE9780393310399

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Rainer Rilke
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Descrizione libro WW Norton Co, United States, 1993. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. New edition. Language: English . Brand New Book. Drawn by some sympathetic note in one of his poems, young people often wrote to Rilke with their problems and hopes. From 1903 to 1908 Rilke wrote a series of remarkable responses to a young would-be poet, on poetry and on surviving as a sensitive observer in a harsh world. An accompanying chronicle of Rilke s life shows what he was experiencing in his own relationship to life and work when he wrote these letters. Codice libro della libreria AAS9780393310399

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Descrizione libro W. W. Norton & Company 9/17/1993, 1993. Paperback or Softback. Condizione libro: New. Letters to a Young Poet. Book. Codice libro della libreria BBS-9780393310399

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Descrizione libro W. W. Norton & Company. PAPERBACK. Condizione libro: New. 0393310396 BRAND NEW, GIFT QUALITY! NOT OVERSTOCKS OR MARKED UP REMAINDERS! DIRECT FROM THE PUBLISHER!|0.5. Codice libro della libreria OTF-S-9780393310399

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Descrizione libro W. W. Norton & Company. PAPERBACK. Condizione libro: New. 0393310396 *BRAND NEW* Ships Same Day or Next!. Codice libro della libreria SWATI2132374013

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