Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Letters to a Young Poet

Rate this book
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 for what Stephen Mitchell calls in his Foreword the "vibrant and deeply felt experience of life" that informs them.

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.

109 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 1929

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Rainer Maria Rilke

1,511 books5,643 followers
A mystic lyricism and precise imagery often marked verse of German poet Rainer Maria Rilke, whose collections profoundly influenced 20th-century German literature and include The Book of Hours (1905) and The Duino Elegies (1923).

People consider him of the greatest 20th century users of the language.

His haunting images tend to focus on the difficulty of communion with the ineffable in an age of disbelief, solitude, and profound anxiety — themes that tend to position him as a transitional figure between the traditional and the modernist poets.

His two most famous sequences include the Sonnets to Orpheus , and his most famous prose works include the Letters to a Young Poet and the semi-autobiographical The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge .

He also wrote more than four hundred poems in French, dedicated to the canton of Valais in Switzerland, his homeland of choice.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
42,868 (51%)
4 stars
26,763 (31%)
3 stars
10,973 (13%)
2 stars
2,363 (2%)
1 star
818 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 8,497 reviews
Profile Image for s.penkevich.
965 reviews6,840 followers
September 18, 2023
Go into yourself and see how deep the place is from which your life flows.

Rainer Maria Rilke puts forth the question ‘must I write?’ in these letters from the great poet to the unknown Mr. Kappus. ‘Dig into yourself for a deep answer,’ he tells the young poet, ‘and if this answer rights out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must”, then build your life in accordance with this necessity.Letters To A Young Poet, written between 1903-08, contains some of the most passionately moving words of encouragement and examination into the life of an artist. Rilke advises that ‘a work of art is good if it has risen out of necessity’, that they must feel they ‘would have to die if you were forbidden to write.’ From there, he instructs towards the soul-searching life of solitude which best cultivates the artists gift. With powerful prose that often reaches the same sublime peaks found in his poetry, these magnanimous, heart-felt letters are some the most empowering words of wisdom into undertaking of the arts as well as an impressive portrait of Rilke himself.

It is difficult to accurately explain the powers of transcendence contained in these letters. What is especially difficult is to do so in the realm of reviewing, a sort of critique that bastardizes the original message by having it be received tainted from my amateur perspective as it passes through me¹, as Rilke himself cautions against reading any sort of literary criticism, positive or negative in his very first letter.
Nothing touches a work of art so little as words of criticism: they always result in more or less fortunate misunderstandings. Things aren’t all so tangible and sayable as people would usually have us believe; most experience is unsayable, they happen in a space that no word has ever entered, and more unsayable than all other things are works of art, those mysterious existences, whose life endures beside our own small, transitory life.
While, as Rilke point out, the ethereal joys brought about in me while reading this are ineffable, I would still like to take a few moments of your time to discuss how beautiful these letters are. It is a sort of minor-key beauty, spending much time navigating through the implications of solitude and painful soul-searching, yet it elevates the heart to such high levels and is sure to make anyone reach for a pen in order to try their own hand at poetry.

We know little, but that we must trust in what is difficult is a certainty that will never abandon us,’ Rilke writes. Constantly he tries to impress upon the young poet that the road to greatness is a difficult, lonely path, and that any meandering towards what is easy is destined to lead to failure or mediocrity. ‘It is good to be solitary, for solitude is difficult; that something is difficult must be one more reason for us to do it.’ In the Bukowski poem How to be a Good Writer, he examines the life of those he considers great and asks :
remember the old dogs
who fought so well:
Hemingway, Celine, Dostoevsky, Hamsun.
If you think they didn't go crazy
in tiny rooms
just like you're doing now
without women
without food
without hope
then you're not ready.
This is merely a more blunt and coarse explanation of Rilke’s own sentiments. While it may seem a frightening truth, that we must always take the hard road, and that we must seek solitude in ourselves to mine the gold buried within us, that we may reach a point of near-madness, he presents it as such a beautiful gift, a place of inner turmoil that is bliss to the writer because it is how language is able to take root in our souls and grow.
What is necessary, after all, is only this: solitude, vast inner solitude. To walk inside yourself and meet no one for hours – that is what you must be able to attain. To be solitary as you were when you were a child, when the grownups walked around involved with matters that seemed large and important because they looked so busy and because you didn’t understand a thing about what they were doing.
Rilke advises that childhood is one of the richest places to seek ourselves and our inspirations. Not only to call forth our dusty memories and let language polish and remold them into something remarkable, but to use a childlike ‘not-understanding’ to best examine the world.
Why should you want to give up a child’s wise not-understanding in exchange for defensiveness and scorn, since not-understanding is, after all, a way of being alone, whereas defensiveness and scorn are a participation in precisely what, by these means, you want to separate yourself from.
What really stood out to me about Rilke was his utter humbleness. Rilke responds to Kappus as if Kappus were the most important person in the world, and he begins each letter with an honest apology for the delay in his responses. Rilke remains ever humble in his words, and though he offers brilliant, shining insights, suggestions and long investigations on a variety of topics beyond writing (God, love – especially his distaste for those who mistake lust for love and how it damages the artistic heart, Rome, paintings, etc.), he never asserts himself as anything but a man with no answers, only direction. He reminds Kappus ‘Don’t think the person who is trying to comfort you now lives untroubled among the simple and quiet words that sometimes give you pleasure. His life has much trouble and sadness…’. We all face our anxieties day by day, and even those we look up and even idolize were never able to reach perfection. We are all human, and Rilke manages to both send us reaching for the heavens while still remaining firmly grounded here on the Earth.

This is a fantastic short collection for anyone with any interest in writing. It is one of the most beautifully empowering books I have ever read and reminds the reader of the mindset they must accept in order to let the arts flourish in the soil of their souls. Whatever the topic he discusses, it is wholly pleasant to be immersed in the flow of his writing - each word is a warm embrace. While the letters are intended for Mr. Kappus alone, and his side of the conversation is missing, the message is universal. From the man who wrote some of the finest poetry of the 20th century, this book should be read by everyone before they pick up a pen to write (the same goes for Sorrentino’s Imaginative Qualities of Actual Things, but that is a discussion for another time). I’m surprised this isn’t required reading in all freshman college literature courses. This is truly a gift of writing, it sustained a smile across by face the entire time.

'Just the wish that you may find in yourself enough patients to endure and enough simplicity to have faith; that you may gain more and more confidence in what is difficult and in your solitude among other people. And as for the rest, let life happen to you. Believe me: life is in the right, always.'

¹ For more on the corruption of literature through any attempt at interpretation or criticism, I highly recommend reading Susan Sontag essay Against Interpretation (thank you to Mike for showing me this essay). Also, for further reading on the distortion of Rilke’s words, William H. Gass has his take on translating the great poet: Reading Rilke: Reflections on the Problems of Translation
Profile Image for Jim Fonseca.
1,101 reviews7,196 followers
August 26, 2017
Rilke (1875-1926) was a famous German poet, born in Prague. He traveled widely throughout Europe, married and had a daughter. A dozen years out of school, after Rilke had achieved some fame as a poet, a young man wrote to him asking for advice about life and poetry. Rilke wrote ten letters to him over five years. The young boy was romantic, frail and dreamy; a prisoner, so to speak, in a military boarding school where he was subject to strict discipline, bullying and humiliation. It was the same school that Rilke’s father sent him to in preparation for a career as a military officer. And all those adjectives also applied to Rilke who had been in the identical situation. So, in a sense, Rilke poured his heart out writing to his younger self.


Some of Rilke’s writings in the ten letters:

“For the creative artist there is no poverty – nothing is insignificant or unimportant.”

“There is nothing that manages to influence a work of art less than critical words. They always result in more or less unfortunate misunderstandings. Things are not as easily understood nor as expressible as people usually would like us to believe. Most happenings are beyond expression; they exist where a word has never intruded.”

Writing in 1904 Rilke was amazingly prescient about the upcoming sexual revolution:

“Perhaps the sexes are more closely related than one would think. Perhaps the great renewal of the world will consist of this, that man and woman, freed of all confused feelings and desires, shall no longer seek each other as opposites, but simply as members of a family and neighbors, and will unite as human beings, in order to simply, earnestly, patiently, and jointly bear the heavy responsibility of sexuality that has been entrusted to them….This progress shall transform the experience of love, presently full of error, opposed at first by men, who have been overtaken in their progress by women. It shall thoroughly change the love experience to the rebuilding of a relationship meant to be between two persons, no longer just between man and woman….The men, who today cannot yet feel it coming, shall be surprised and defeated by it.”

“Do not allow yourself to be confused in your aloneness by the something within you that wishes to be released from it. This very wish, if you will calmly and deliberately use it as a tool, will help to expand your solitude into far distant realms.”

“Everything you can think about in your childhood is good.”

“Of all my books there are only a few that are indispensable to me. Two of them are constantly at my fingertips wherever I may be. They are here with me now: the Bible and the books of the great Danish writer Jens Peter Jacobsen.” (Rilke particularly praises Jacobsen’s collection of short stories, Mogens, which I have reviewed here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...)

“We are unutterably alone, essentially, especially in the things most intimate and most important to us….It becomes increasingly clear that it [aloneness] is basically not something we can choose to have or not to have. We simply are alone. One can only delude one’s self and act as though it were not so – that is all.”

The second half of the book is a collection of some of his poems. Most are very accessible. Here are some sections of verse that I liked

I have my dead, and I would let them go
and be surprised to see them all so cheerful,
so soon at home in being-dead, so right,
so unlike their repute. You, you alone,
return; brush past me, move about, persist
in knocking something that vibratingly
betrays you.

Wrapt in herself she wandered. And her deadness
was filling her like fullness.
Full as a fruit with sweetness and with darkness
was she with her great death, which was so new
that for the time she could take nothing in.

In those small towns you come to realize
how the cathedrals utterly outgrew
their whole environment. Their birth and rise,
as our own life’s too great proximity
will mount beyond our vision and our sense
of other happenings, took precedence
of all things; as though that were history,
piled up in their immeasurable masses
in petrification safe from circumstance,

My hands too will always be failing me.
How hopelessly stunted they are you can see:
damp, heavy, hopping constrictedly
like little toads in wet weather.
And everything else about me too
is old and worn and sad to view;
why does God delay to do
away with it altogether?

I’m no one, and no one is what I shall be.
I'm still too small to exist, I agree;
but I'll always be so.

No one can need me: it's too soon now,
and tomorrow it's too late.

A very thought-provoking, calming read.

Portrait of Rilke by Leonid Pasternak from Wikipedia
Profile Image for Gaurav.
170 reviews1,216 followers
July 17, 2016
Letters to a Young Poet

Rainer Maria Rilke

'Letters to young poet', written by famed poet Rainer Maria Rilke, starts with a 'imaginary' poet Mr. Kappus seeking affirmation, from the great German poet, whether he should write ? The book continues with a series of letters which are generous answers, to the letters by'Young Worker', by Rilke, who was only 28 then, at length, and in great detail about what constitutes creativity and poetry, and how to channel the former into the latter. When you read first letter, at the outset, you may get perception as if the poet is not pleased with someone asking him to evaluate works (by that someone), however as you move ahead you realize that letters by Rilke are exquisite, deep, very candid and probably of some use to someone new who is seeking advice of more experienced ones.

Rilke begins with probably the most honest statement in critical theory- There is nothing less apt to touch a work of art than critical words: all we end up with there is more or less felicitous misunderstandings - and continues further mediation about how to write. He then begins a series of discussions, continued throughout the Letters, of how both the Young Poet and his work can become more mature, more richly developed, and ultimately more connected to the Young Poet's creative soul. The great poet says that one need not confirmation from others to decide merit of one's work of art; he advises- Nobody can advise you and help you, nobody. There is only one way. Go into yourself. He tells young poet that one must not be worried about others' opinions, all that one should be considerate about it to ask oneself whether at one's inside one is convinced or not- ask yourself in your night's quietest hour: must I write? Dig down into yourself for a deep answer. And if it should be affirmative, if it is given to you to respond to this serious question with a loud and simple 'I must, then construct your life according to this necessity

Rilke talks about different themes in the book, he mentions that one must try to make use of 'Irony' in creative moments to get a grasp of life, other themes, which are explored in the book, are-
Solitude, is essential if the Young Poet is to create work of both universal truth and lasting value.
‘What is necessary, after all, is only this: solitude, vast inner solitude. To walk inside yourself and meet no one for hours – that is what you must be able to attain. To be solitary as you were when you were a child, when the grown ups walked around involved with matters that seemed large and important because they looked so busy and because you didn’t understand a thing about what they were doing.’
Rilke believes that nature has strong impact on creativity, he suggests that ultimate manifestation of creativity is an act of creation.
Sexuality, according to RIlke, is manifestation of the creative spirit and an expression of humanity's nature.
Rilke says that if a young poet has to come to both an understanding of himself and nature then love is a an important experience for one.
One day there will be girls and women whose names will no longer just signify the opposite of the male but something in their own right, something which does not make one think of any supplement or limit but only of life and existence: the female human being.
This step forward (at first right against the will of the men who are left behind) will transform the experience of love, which is now full of error, alter it root and branch, reshape it into a relation between two human beings .............I believe that love remains so strong and powerful in your memory because it was your first deep experience of solitariness and the first inner work that undertook on your life.

Rilke moves on further to talk about that one should try to understand life in fullest and that it could be understood only if life is truly lived. He advises that one must engages fully in every experience - relationships, love, sexual desire, writing- and try to contemplate them in solitude.

The book is one of those creations of art which throw light on the path you must follow to let your artistic creations bloom in fullest .Though letters don't have any descriptions of the young poet -everything the reader comes to understand about the Young Poet must be gleaned from hints in Rilke's writing- nevertheless, it can be assuredly said about the book that it gives the impression- the Young Poet undergoes a journey over the course of his correspondence with Rilke and got transformed eventually.

I will say that any one who takes his writing seriously- for which he has to take up his vocation to read- can read this book, the book is a must read for anyone interested in poetry and life.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews31 followers
April 5, 2022
Briefe an einen jungen Dichter = Letters to a Young Poet‬‭‭, Rainer Maria Rilke

In 1903, a student at a military academy sent some of his verses to a well-known Austrian poet, requesting an assessment of their value. The older artist, Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926), replied to the novice in this series of letters — an amazing archive of remarkable insights into the ideas behind Rilke's greatest poetry.

The ten letters reproduced here were written during an important stage in Rilke's artistic development, and they contain many of the themes that later appeared in his best works. The poet himself afterwards stated that his letters contained part of his creative genius, making this volume essential reading for scholars, poetry lovers, and anyone with an interest in Rilke, German poetry, or the creative impulse.

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «چند نامه به شاعری جوان و یک داستان و چند شعر»؛ «نامه هایی به شاعری جوان»؛ نویسنده: راینر ماریا ریلکه؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز نهم ماه ژوئن سال2005میلادی

عنوان: چند نامه به شاعری جوان و یک داستان و چند شعر؛ نویسنده: راینر ماریا ریلکه؛ مترجم: پرویز ناتل خانلری؛ مشخصات نشر تهران، آبان، سال1353، در110ص، موضوع: نامه های نویسندگان آلمان - سده20م، (راینر ماریا ریلکه از سال1875میلادی، تا سال1926م)؛

عنوان: نامه هایی به شاعری جوان؛ سال1320؛ در110صفحه، انتشارات معین، با ترجمه پرویز ناتل خانلری، شابک9789647603409؛

عنوان: نامه هایی به شاعری جوان؛ نوشته: راینر ماریا ریلکه؛ مترجم: علی متولی زاده اردکانی؛ مشحصات نشر تهران، تعاونی کارآفرینان فرهنگ و هنر، سال1386، در71ص، شابک9789648742602؛ موضوع: نامه های نویسندگان آلمان - سده20م

راینر ماریا ریلکه ‏(زاده روز سوم از ماه دسامبر سال1975میلادی– درگذشته در روز بیست و نهم ماه دسامبر سال1926میلادی) از برترین شاعران آلمانی‌ زبان، در سده بیستم میلادی بودند؛ برخی از سروده‌ ها و داستان‌های «ریلکه» را، مترجمانی همچون جنابان آقایان: «شرف‌ الدین خراسانی»، «پرویز ناتل خانلری»، «مهدی غبرایی»، و «علی عبداللهی»، به فارسی ترجمه و منتشر کرده‌ اند؛ «پرویز ناتل خانلری» نخستین بار در سال1320هجری خورشیدی، همین اثر را با عنوان: «نامه‌ هایی به شاعری جوان» ترجمه کردند؛ رمان «دفترهای مالده لائوریس بریگه» از آثار ایشان با برگردان جناب آقای «مهدی غبرائی»، و ترجمهٔ گزیده‌ ای از اشعار ایشان، در «کتاب شاعران» توسط جنابان آقایان (مراد فرهادپور و یوسف اباذری)، و همچنین مجموعه‌ ای از آثار ایشان به قلم جناب آقای «علی عبداللهی»، به فارسی برگردان شده‌ اند

نقل از متن: (اگر مهر خود را بر هرچه هست بگسترید، اگر به فروتنی بکوشید، تا با هرچه ناچیز مینماید آشنا شوید، آنگاه همه ی امور برای شما آسانتر خواهد شد و در نظرتان خوش آهنگتر و دوستانه تر جلوه خواهد کرد.)؛ پایان نقل

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 08/04/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 15/01/1401هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Bel Rodrigues.
Author 3 books19.9k followers
May 31, 2021
fui atrás desse livro porque ele é citado em "pequena coreografia do adeus". o li em algumas horas e repensei toda minha vida até aqui. que montanha-russa de emoções foi acompanhar cada carta presente na obra.

"obras de arte são de uma solidão infinita, e nada pode passar tão longe de alcançá-las quanto a crítica. apenas o amor pode compreendê-las, conservá-las e ser justo em relação a elas."
Profile Image for Riku Sayuj.
656 reviews7,104 followers
August 25, 2012
The last book for the year. The soothing, gentle, unimposing yet wise voice of Rilke - what better way to fold up one more chapter in life and open another, with hope for more suffering and joys in apt measure. This little book has been my companion for four years now, always half-finished, and it feels strange to finally remove the bookmark and to keep it aside.

Read it with a forgiving bend. Keep in mind that Rilke never wrote them with an intention to publish, it was mostly an attempt to convey a few truths to a fellow poet. Read it in that spirit - If you read with critical intent, the magic of the book will be lost on you.

My only complaint with the book is that it presents only one half of the conversation. It would have been a wonderful piece if both the young poet's and Rilke's letters had been printed in succession. I wonder if such an edition is available somewhere...
Profile Image for Seemita.
180 reviews1,614 followers
January 1, 2016
Dear Mr. Rilke,

Assuming it to be a frequent phenomenon with you, I partake in pleasure and liberty of appointing you the receiver of yet another letter, from a besotted admirer of your wisdom and expression.

You see I have always felt that the best stories are those that we wish turned true; stories that uplift us with their depths and spring us back to the surface to stay afloat; stories that carry our thoughts in their seams and weave the most warm blankets to protect us in the winters of life; stories that complete the half-drawn picture, packing us to a destination of solace.

But above all, a story works best when the mind inking it knows its reader like a best friend; knowing when to let her be and when to rejig her. When the pen joins dots to create conversations between its one such holder and this distant best friend, the creations turn alive, ringing their elevating bells for years to come.

Although I laid hands on a bunch of letters your wrote to Mr.Kappus, your young poet friend, I was taken aback by the loud resonance that penetrated my soul upon reading them. You came to bless me with your songs on life at a time when I was getting crushed under boulders of fear and anxiety with my arms turning deplorably limp to make even the smallest of difference. These bouts are not uncommon but this time, they were of epic proportions. When the ground beneath one’s ideals is suddenly shaken in virulent jolts, she looks upto the skies in hope of a miraculous intervention. You, were mine. Like a supreme entablature, your sagacity descended upon me, stabilizing my fledgling structure. Your distilled prudence covered every open bevel, every bruised crevice in my existence and all at once, I was steady, sturdy and breathing again.
And your doubts can become a good quality if you school them. They must grow to be knowledgeable, they must learn to be critical. As soon as they begin to spoil something for you ask them why a thing is ugly, demand hard evidence, test them, and you will perhaps find them at a loss and short of an answer, or perhaps mutinous. But do not give in, request arguments, and act with this kind of attentiveness and consistency every single time, and the day will come when instead of being demolishers they will be among your best workers – perhaps the canniest of all those at work on the building of your life.
It might be heartening for you to know that I have been attributing my strength to my doubts as much as to my beliefs. In fact, I have often found myself strolling on numerous evenings, absorbed in an inconsequential mist of doubts and dilemmas. Donning the robe of a forced soloist has never stopped me from performing but has often questioned my embrace of solitude. Is it even worth? All those seconds ticking away without another pair of eyes in the vicinity?
What is needed is this, and this alone: solitude, great inner loneliness. Going into oneself and not meeting anyone for hours – that is what one must arrive at.
You quelled my fear; in the most beautiful way. You didn’t deflect me from my walk. Instead you slipped an inexpressible kind of validation beneath my feet that transformed the weather all at once. Holding your finger, the hard road of complexities and predicaments turned a generous grass-bed of soft, white clouds – engulfing me in a feeling of beauty, tenderness, clarity and alacrity while sending buoyant tremors of spirit into my being.

I know I would continue to run into speed-breakers during this voyage of mine; occasional skidding on account of poor reflexes on dense complexes would also be inevitable. But both in bountiful and sick days, I would survive on your inspiring truths; those that cannot be seized by time or place, those that do not have any negative cape, those that find beauty in much, those that detect a breath in dust.
If there is something ailing in the way you go about things, then remember that sickness is the means by which an organism rids itself of something foreign to it. All one has to do is help it to be ill, to have its whole illness and let it break out, for that is how it mends itself.
Profile Image for li.reading.
71 reviews2,631 followers
December 29, 2022
This man just casually writing the most profound things I have ever read in a letter to his pal, meanwhile I spend 10 minutes figuring out how to sign off an email
Profile Image for فايز غازي Fayez Ghazi .
Author 2 books3,907 followers
April 4, 2023
- عشرة رسائل ارسلها "ريلكيه" الى صديقه "كابوس"، ينصحه فيها عن الشعر والادب والفن، بأسلوب متواضع ورقيق.

- الرسائل لطيفة (ستعيد ذكريات كثيرة لمن اعتاد كتابتها) وهذا النوع من المراسلات قد بدأ ينقرض اليوم ومعه تذهب احدى المشاعر الإنسانية الى اقبية النسيان!

- ريلكه لا يعظ في هذه الرسائل بل يحاول ان يترك "كابوس" على سجيته مع توسيع آفاقه واعطائه نصائح من تجربته الشخصية وقراءاته الذاتية.

- كتاب خفيف وبسيط ورقيق!

معظم الأحداث لا يمكن التعبير عنها بالكلمات، وتحدث في مكان لم تطأه يوماً كلمة
Profile Image for Fionnuala.
792 reviews
June 13, 2017

Dear Mr Rilke,
How can I thank you enough for these marvelously heartfelt letters, full of inspiration, beauty and wisdom. They are a glorious gift, a gospel of wonderful words which I will follow all the days of my life.

Dear Reader,
If there is one thing I would say to you, it is to caution you against immoderation, against lavish and excessive language. When you write, try to say what you really feel and using the simplest language you know. Listen to the silence deep in your heart and begin there. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose.

Dear Mr Rilke,
I am trying to keep your advice in mind but my heart is a busy, noisy, chattering place and it tells me to use five words instead of one, and long sentences rather than short ones.

Dear Reader,
Don't let yourself be controlled by irony, especially during uncreative moments. When you are fully creative, try to use it, as one more way to take hold of life. Search into the depths of things. Imagine yourself in some prison, whose walls let in none of the world’s sounds; for the writer or poet, solitude and silence are essential. And books. Read, read, read and then you will be able to write.

Dear Mr Rilke,
I do read, a wide selection of authors and titles, but sometimes I doubt my own judgement of what I read, especially when it differs from others or from the literary critics.

Dear Reader,
Read as little as possible of literary criticism; such things are either artisan opinions or else clever word-games. Works of art are of an infinite solitude; and no means of approach is so useless as criticism.

Dear Mr Rilke,
My dilemma when I read is an inability to abandon the work to its own solitude at the end, I always want to enter into dialogue with the writer.

Dear Reader,
Dialogue is good. Anything which gives rise to creativity is useful, words on a page or the blank page itself.

Dear Mr Rilke,
Speaking of blank pages, I felt an absence in your book. I wondered about the letters from Mr Kappus to which yours were a response?

Dear Reader,
It is the reader’s response which is important, not that of Mr Kappus, and since it was he who edited this book, we must presume he preferred to remain silent.

Dear Mr Rilke,
Had I the editing of this book, each letter would have been accompanied by a blank page, and exactly for that reason, for the reader’s response. That is how I would like all books to be, printed on one side of the page only so that the reader can fill in the other and have a real dialogue with the writer.

Dear Reader,
This is the best idea you have given me so far, and as for the rest, let life happen to you. Believe me: life is right, always.

Profile Image for Paul Bryant.
2,217 reviews9,899 followers
August 3, 2020

Dear Mr Rilke

I am not sure I made myself completely clear in my last letter to you. Judging by the reply you were so kind enough to send, I don’t think you quite realised that my landlord has now issued a notice to quit, the period of which terminates this month, and, as I tried to explain, I have been let go from my position at the slaughterhouse – I stress that these are not metaphors, or ironic parables, dear Mr Rilke. It could be that you thought I was speaking poetically. This was sadly not the case. This being so, I was wondering if you could see your way to being able to advance me a sum of somewhere in the region of 2500 marks to get me through the coldest winter we have experienced in many a long year. I put it to you plainly – the last bottle of gin was finished last night and I am hoping that wallpaper contains some nutriments because that is the only edible thing left in the house from which I will be imminently ejected. 3000 marks of course will be better, I could then replace my boots and would not have to walk the streets wearing two blocks of ice. I know you many times advised me to embrace my solitude, to not demand answers to life’s questions but to live intimately with the questions themselves, but surely, not to the point where one might reasonably be expected to contract tuberculosis.

Your affectionate correspondent
Franz Xaver Kappus
Berlin 1928

PS – at a stretch I can live with 2000 marks if I sell some minor body parts to the Hospital.
Profile Image for J.L.   Sutton.
666 reviews927 followers
March 22, 2020
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves...Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

“The only journey is the one within.”

Image result for rilke

Really loved the idea of 'living the question.' Beginning in 1903 and spanning a 5-year period, Rainer Maria Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet consists of 10 letters from the famous poet to a novice poet who has been soliciting his advice. It's interesting that Rilke does not praise the poetry he is sent, but admires that his interlocutor is questioning whether the life of a poet is right for him. What does it mean to Rilke? It's definitely not about what the critics say. He is more interested in the path a poet should take (reflecting quite often on a sense of solitude and love that is necessary for this undertaking). Something about Rilke's sensibilities reminded me of what I find in Herman Hesse's work. You get a sense of warmth about Rilke in his replies, but there is also something deeply philosophical and almost magical about how he writes. 4.5 stars

“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.”
Profile Image for Mohamed Shady.
626 reviews6,682 followers
April 3, 2020

"يكفي، كما قُلت، أن يشعر المرء أن بإمكانه الحياة من دون كتابة، حتى يكون الأجدر به ألا يكتب أبدًا"

منذ فترة طويلة قرأت كتاب "رسائل إلى روائي شاب" للمجنون البيروفي "ماريو بارغاس يوسا"، كانت هذه أول مرة ألتقي بـ "يوسا"، وانبهرت على الفور بسلاسته وثقافته الموسوعية.
والآن، كما في المرة السابقة، ألتقي بمبدع آخر، يختلف تمام الاختلاف عن المجنون الآخر؛ كلاهما عبقري، لكن عبقرية "يوسا" نابعة من جنونه وخشونته، بينما تنبع عبقرية "ريلكه" من هدوئه وشغفه، بساطته ولغته الشاعرية.
عشر رسائل أرسلها ريلكه، على مدار سنوات طويلة، إلى شاعر ناشيء، يرد على تساؤلاته بخصوص الشعر والحياة، لأن الشعر هو الحياة، يقدّم للشاعر الشاب خلاصة تجاربه ويحثّه على إيجاد شاعره الخاص داخله.

ترجمة "صلاح هلال" ممتازة، استطاع، من خلالها، ببراعة شديدة، أن يُحكم قبضته على لغة ريلكه الشعرية.
Profile Image for Mohamed Khaled Sharif.
818 reviews919 followers
December 28, 2022

ملحوظة هامة قبل قراءة الريفيو:
هذا الريفيو شخصي جداً، غير موضوعي، وغير مُحايد.. وقد وجب التنويه.

ما قبل القراءة:

كان عندي موعد بالقاهرة في التاسعة من صباح اليوم.. وبعد ذهابي تأجل الموعد فجأة أربع ساعات كاملة!.. فماذا عساي أن أفعل؟
تجولت في الشوارع قليلاً.. أحب التجول في القاهرة بين المباني الشاهقة التي أشعر أنها تحميني بطريقة ما.. وجدت نفسي أمام تمثال طلعت حرب.. وأمامه مكتبة الشروق..
إذاً هذا هو الحل.. سأدخل لأشتري كتاباً وأجلس في أي كافيه أو "قهوة بلدي" أقرأه حتى الموعد المؤجل.. نسيت أن أخبرك أن ذلك الموعد هو مصيري في حياتي الشخصية ولكن دعك من هذا.
دلفت إلى المكتبة ناوياً على شراء كتاباً واحداً يُسليني في الأربع ساعات القادمة.. خرجت بحوالي عشرة كُتب ولكن لا بأس!

كنت أنوي قراءة هذا الكتاب لصغر حجمه ولأنه من أدب الرسائل الذي أحبه، ولأنه من ترجمات الكرمة التي تختار ترجماتها بعناية.
بحثتُ عن مكان منزوي أقرأ فيه حتى وجدته.. قهوة بلدي صغيرة بها عدد قليل من الناس.. وبدأت أغوص في الرسائل على صوت أم كلثوم يأتي من مذياع قديم مُتهالك.. وحديث بين عجوزين اسبانيين أو يتحدثا الاسبانية.. حيث أن لُغتهم أثارت فضولي وأيضاً حديثهم عن "برشلونة" و "ريال مدريد" وكرة القدم أثار فضولي وبشدة.. كلمة "برشلونة" بالاسبانية مُميزة على السمع وخصوصاً لو كُنت مُتابع جيد لكرة القدم.


وبدأت أتناول الرسائل التي تحتوي على كم كبير من الألفة والطيبة والنصائح والحكم وكُل شيء لطيف ورائع بين "راينر" وهذا الشاعر الشاب.. كان كُل شيء كاملاً والكمال وحده لله.
وبعد عديد من أكواب القهوة والشاي بالنعناع.. أنهيت الكتاب.. لأجد الساعة اصبحت الواحدة إلا عشرة دقائق وقد حان وقت التحرك.

وبفضل الله اكتمل الموعد على خير..
الكتاب ليس مُميزاً إلى درجة الخمس نجوم بكل صراحة.. ولكن الظروف التي وضعتني وهيأتني لأن يكون تجربتي مع الكتاب ليست مُجرد قراءة عادية.. وإنما ذكرى سأظل أتذكرها دوماً عندما أنظر إلى غُلاف الكتاب.. أو آثناء إعادة قراءته..
وهو كتاب يستحق بكل تأكيد أن يُعاد قراءته مرات عديدة.

وإذا وصلت إلى هُنا.. ولم تجد مُرادك فأعتذر لك.. كما أوضحت في بداية المُراجعة هذه المُراجعة شخصية جداً.. وغير مُحايدة.. وفقط كتبت كُل ذلك من أجل التوثيق.

وشكراً لك أنك قرأت حتى هذه النقطة.

Profile Image for Piyangie.
530 reviews489 followers
May 29, 2023
This is the best work I've read after Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own, which I found profoundly informative to amateur writers like me. The book, though short, moved me in ways unimagined. I was awestruck when Rilke said that "Art too is only a way of living"; I've never thought about art from that perspective. But when I analyzed the meaning of his words, I was overwhelmed by their truth. It is true how much art is connected with our lives without us realizing it, and artistic works are by-products of artists' own life experiences. So yes, art is a way of living.

The ten letters here contain what Rainer Maria Rilke has written to a young military student, Franz Kappus, who later became a poet himself. In the early stages of his writing, Kappus was plagued by doubt about the quality of his verses, which led him to correspond with the great poet, Rilke for advice. And the advice Rilke so generously give is valuable for any budding writer.

In his letter, Rilke addresses art, life, and its interconnection. First, he tells the young poet that when writing, the question he should ask him is "must I write?" If, and if only the answer to the question is yes that he should proceed to write. No one can advise a writer; that is Rilke's opinion. So then, where should the young, budding artists look at? To whom to look up? And Rilke tells to "Go inside yourself. And if from this turning inwards, from this sinking into your private world, there come verses, you will not think to ask anyone whether they are good verses.". His words are a confirmation that artists are born and not created. "Let your judgments have their own quiet, undisturbed development, which must, like all progress, come from deep within, and cannot in any way be pressed or hurried. To be an artist means: not to reckon and count; to ripen like the tree which does not force its sap and stands confident in the storms of Spring without fear lest no Summer might come after." These words are the best that an amateur can hear, and this amateur grasped them with pleasure.

The key factor for a writer is being solitary. Rilke stresses its importance in so many words. He advises the young Kappus to find material for his work from the wealth of his childhood. That is where the true riches are which marks a lifetime of success. He also emphasizes the influence nature can have on shaping one's artistic creations. Further, Rilke talks about the influence love, women, and sexuality can have on young Kappus as he grows mature and how they could contribute to the formation and shaping of him as an artist. In expressing his opinion, Rilke is both bold and generous, and the letters, if they can confirm, show a great open mind.

The letters, though written to a budding poet, are an appropriate read to all types of readers, for while giving advice to the young man, Rilke's own musings occupy them. The mind of a genius thus exposed is quite interesting to read. Rilke's vision of life and positivity is marvelous. When he said "when a sorrow rises up before you, greater than you have ever seen before; when a restlessness like light and cloud shadows passes over your hands and over all your doing. You must think that something is happening upon you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand; it will not let you fall", so touching they were that I was moved to tears. There is nothing more to say except that I would heartily recommend this little compilation to all readers, and that I sincerely hope that they will profit from his wisdom.

More of my review can be found at http://piyangiejay.com/
Profile Image for Luís.
1,944 reviews610 followers
October 15, 2022
In Letters to a Young Poet, Rilke shows us, through the content of extreme sensitivity and insight, the advice addressed to the young poet Franz Kappus who was hesitant to pursue his literary career. The beauty and truth in this correspondence, covering ten letters between 1903 and 1908, made this work known worldwide. Using its inherent simplicity, Rilke talks about solitude and what it holds of greatness and describes with immense wisdom facets of the inner life of the human being and portraits of feelings that plague him.
A few years after Rilke's death, Franz Kappus decided to publish them as an essential and individual learning experience.
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,010 reviews601 followers
July 10, 2018
While reading “Ideas of Heaven: A Ring of Stories”,
by Joan Silber .... I found myself really enjoying the poetry - inserted - by Rainer Maria Rilke—relevant -powerful - truthful - beautiful- words of depth I connected with.

I wanted to know more about who Rilke was.
I found this book -a
compilation of 10 letters that Rilke wrote to a young poet named Franz Xaver. Xaver wanted to know if his work was good.
— Rilke letters are inspirational - filled with wisdom -( jewels to writers)- and beauty.
Written 2 years before Rilke’s death ...
Rilke’s letters continue to be studied by writers today.

I’m a reader - not a writer -and a complete newbie to the discovery of Rilke....but the things that stood out for me - ( advice for lack of a better word) - were lessons on ways to live a fulfilling, rich, honest, soulful life - a transformed life ....
...one without criticism ...
...value of solitude
...value of God
...value of love

I know I simplified these letters from a brilliant man who died many years ago....
but they are powerful speaking to our most authentic selves.
His poetry is ‘lovely’.

I’m not ( in general ) a poetry type girl.
But I love Rilke’s.
Profile Image for AB.
69 reviews36 followers
May 31, 2010
In which Rainer Maria Rilke, both mercilessly and mercifully, bashes me over the head with a baseball bat from the other side of the Great Whatever.
Profile Image for Pakinam Mahmoud.
813 reviews3,491 followers
June 17, 2023
رسائل إلي شاعر شاب ..كتاب عبارة عن عشر رسائل كتبها الشاعر النمساوي ريلكا لضابط شاب بيتكلم فيها عن الوحدة،الشعر ،الحب ،الشهوة والطفولة...
الكتاب مكتوب بإسلوب بسيط و سلس ولكن بالنسبة لي كان ممل الصراحة و لم أندمج معاه خالص..
Profile Image for Michelle.
5 reviews4 followers
May 15, 2008
I always underline in books, either for the wise quotes that teach or the pure beauty of the passage. About ten pages into this book, though, I gave up underlining as nearly every sentence was a combination of beauty and wisdom. These letters (to a young man he never even met!) are inspiring in their honesty, teaching to cherish your solitude, "to walk inside yourself and meet no one for hours... to be solitary as you were when you were a child, when the grownups walked around involved with matters that seemed large and important because they looked so busy and because you didn't understand a thing about what they were doing."

A few gems:

"Loving does not at first mean merging, surrendering, and uniting with another person (for what would a union be of two people who are unclarified, unfinished, and still incoherent--?), it is a high inducement for the individual to ripen, to become something in himself, to become world, to become world in himself for the sake of another person; it is a great, demanding claim on him, something that chooses him and calls him to vast distances" (70).

"The future stands still, dear Mr. Kappus, but we move in infinite space" (86).

"We have no reason to harbor any mistrust against our world, for it is not against us. If it has terrors, they are our terrors; if it has abysses, these abysses belong to us; if there are dangers, we must try to love them. And if only we arrange our life in accordance with the principle which tells us that we must always trust in the difficult, when what now appears to us as the most alien will become our most intimate and trusted experience. How could we forget those ancient myths that stand at the beginning of all races, the myths about dragons that at the last moment are transofmred into princesses? Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love" (92).
Profile Image for Ulysse.
291 reviews120 followers
September 24, 2023

Rilke’s lost letter to a young poet

Dear Mr. Kappus,

Will you please stop sending me your insipid letters and poems? I am far too busy with my archangels right now to hand out free advice to a hopeless cause like you. Everybody knows poetry is an art that cannot be learned [sic]. You are either born a poet or you are not. The fact that you need my constant approval clearly shows the latter.

Also, my health is very poor at the moment and letter-writing demands a great deal of energy--wasted energy, I should say, inasmuch as I have yet to read single line by you which hasn't made me feel more ill than I already am.

Stick to the army, my young friend. Your pedestrian mind is more suited to giving orders to marching battalions than to moving words around a sheet of paper. I foresee a brilliant future for you in the army; as a poet you are destined for a life of endless frustration and failure. In war you will conquer; in letters you will miserably die. Napoleon nods approval; William shakes his spear.

I hope I have made myself clear: henceforth, if any more of your feeble attempts at what you desecrate under the name of poetry come my way, they'll go straight into the trash bin where they rightfully belong.

Yours no more,

Rainer Maria Rilke
Profile Image for Annetius.
321 reviews92 followers
November 24, 2021
Δε θέλω ψυχολόγο. Θέλω έναν Ράινερ Μαρία Ρίλκε να μου γράφει γράμματα.

Αν κανείς είναι ρομαντική κι ευαίσθητη ψυχή –μέσα του εννοώ και όχι κατά τα φαινόμενα- θα βρει μια πολύ ζεστή γωνιά στα γράμματα αυτά του Ράινερ Μαρία Ρίλκε προς έναν νέο ποιητή ονόματι Κάπους και προς μια νέα γυναίκα, με άγνωστα στοιχεία. Αν δε είναι και από τη φύση του άνθρωπος που βρίσκει παρηγοριά στην τέχνη, όχι μόνο στη συγγραφή, θα αισθανθεί έντονα ότι τα γράμματα αυτά απευθύνονται στον ίδιο, ίσια μέσα στην καρδιά.

Ποια είναι η συνθήκη για να ευδοκιμήσει η δημιουργία, η τέχνη, ο αληθινός εαυτός που κρύβεται κουλουριασμένος μέσα μας; Μα η μοναξιά φυσικά. Αλλά η μοναξιά σήμερα είναι κατά βάση κατακριτέα και μη επιθυμητή. Κι ενώ ζούμε σε εποχές βαθιάς μοναξιάς, το big bang των social media μας έχει καταπλακώσει και θεωρούμε ότι κοινωνικοποιούμαστε. Και δεν ξέρουμε τι να την κάνουμε τη μοναξιά ενώ θα μπορούσε να είναι η μαγιά για κάθε γέννηση, για κάθε κυοφορία και μητρότητα, από άνδρες και γυναίκες.

Τις προάλλες, βρέθηκα στο πατρικό μου για να ποτίσω τα λουλούδια και ανακάλυψα ένα μεγάλο κουτί με δεκάδες γράμματα από το δημοτικό ακόμα, που αντάλλασσα με διάφορους ανθρώπους. Αφού έδωσα το credit στον εαυτό μου που έζησα την εποχή της αλληλογραφίας με αρκετά πλούσιο τρόπο, έπεσα σε ένα είδος μελαγχολίας που αυτή η εποχή έφυγε μια για πάντα και κυρίως γιατί η χάρη του γραπτού λόγου με μολύβι και χαρτί, με σημειωματάκια και σχεδιάκια πάνω στην αλληλογραφία, που εσωκλείει κάτι το πολύ πολύ προσωπικό, το πολύ ρομαντικό και το πολύ έντεχνο έχει εξαφανιστεί από τη ζωή μου εδώ και πολλά χρόνια. Και λυπήθηκα πραγματικά. Για κάτι τέτοιους λόγους θα ήθελα να ζω σε μια άλλη εποχή, για τη γοητεία της βραδύτητας, της υπομονής, της αναμονής που τσουρουφλίζει αλλά και εκπαιδεύει.  

Αυτό ίσως θεωρηθεί μια παρένθεση, ωστόσο για μένα δεν είναι, ήταν μια από τις ουσιαστικές σκέψεις που μου προκάλεσε το μικρό αυτό βιβλίο.

Χωρίς να έχω διαβάσει ποίηση του Ρίλκε, με αυτά τα γράμματα τρέφω συμπάθεια και τρυφερότητα απέναντί του. Γιατί και αυτός ο πεζός λόγος είναι καθόλα ποιητικός. Είναι δεκάδες οι φορές που κάνω σκέψεις βαθυστόχαστες και θα ήθελα αυτόματα με κάποιον τρόπο να καταγράφονται για να μη χαθούν, ωστόσο το γκρίζο σύννεφο της καθημερινότητας τσακίζει άτσαλα την κάθε δυνατότητα για καταγραφή τους. Συνειδητοποίησα πόσο αυτιστικά ζούμε μερικές φορές τις μέρες μας, αδυνατώντας να αφουγκραστούμε πού βρίσκεται η πραγματική πηγή μιας ευτυχίας που κατά βάθος όλοι επιθυμήσαμε αλλά μεταφέραμε στο περιθώριο της ζωής μας.

Τα γράμματα αυτά ήταν ένα μεγάλο τσιρότο τρυφερότητας που καλύπτει επαρκώς όλη την περιοχή της καρδιάς. Υπάρχει πλούτος, υπάρχει διαύγεια, λεπτότητα συναισθημάτων, σφοδρότητα και μια ματιά προς τη γυναίκα από τις πιο ντελικάτες, τις πιο προς τα μέσα που έχω δει.

Διαβάζοντας, φαντάστηκα τον ποιητή αποσυρμένο σε ένα κάστρο, μόνο του, να στοχάζεται και να δημιουργεί την τέχνη ��ου και μπήκα σε ένα σύμπαν απόκοσμο, μακρινό, ζεστό και παγωμένο ταυτόχρονα, στοιχειωμένο και όμως γεμάτο με χιλιάδες άλλους κόσμους την ίδια στιγμή.

"Κι όταν λέμε ότι ζούμε, δεν εννοούμε στην πραγματικότητα ότι κάθε τόσο σπάμε τα καλούπια στα οποία έχουμε μπει, για να απολαύσουμε με την καινούργια μας μορφή τη σχέση με τα άλλα πλάσματα που έλκονται μαγεμένα προς το ίδιο βασίλειο;"

Ναι αγαπητέ ποιητή, έτσι θα πρέπει να είναι.
Profile Image for Robin.
493 reviews2,726 followers
August 14, 2020
What a tremendous thrill it must have been for budding poet Franz Xaver Kappus, to receive the first letter in response to his own from his literary idol, Rainer Maria Rilke. And then, to receive nine more.

This collection has been widely read and is widely loved. Only the letters from Rilke (written from 1903 - 1908) are included, which is fine, because even Rilke acknowledges several times that he is not addressing Kappus' specific questions or concerns. Rather, he gives a loving, far reaching, all encompassing oration on how to conduct oneself as an artist. It's almost as if he knew that generations of readers would be sharing in this correspondence, and collectively gasping at the generous wisdom imparted in these missives.

Rilke emphasizes over and over the importance of solitude, of not creating art with the idea of outside reaction, and of clinging to what is "difficult" because it's there that one finds the greatest reward. These are all good pieces of advice to any writer or artist, or even human being in general. I didn't quite connect with all of Rilke's thoughts, though. Some of them felt a bit too philosophical, pie-in-the-sky for me. But there are many gems that make this lovely epistolary collection well worth reading.

For someone who wonders if they should be a writer:

This above all - ask yourself in the stillest hour of your night: must I write? Delve into yourself for a deep answer. And if this should be affirmative, if you may meet this earnest question with a strong and simple "I must," then build your life according to this necessity.

For an artist discouraged with what they have accomplished thus far:

There is here no measuring with time, no year matters, and ten years are nothing. 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.

For lovers, and their indelible contribution to art:

And those who come together in the night and are entwined in rocking delight do an earnest work and gather sweetnesses, gather depth and strength for the song of some coming poet, who will arise to speak of ecstasies beyond telling.
Profile Image for زبيدة عالي.
120 reviews26 followers
September 8, 2023
لا أريد أن أبالغ في مدحي لهذا الكتاب خصوصًا كوني قرأته للتو وقد أكون تحت تأثيره المخدر. ولكنني وجدته من أفضل ما قرأت.
رسائل أقل ما يقال عنها أنها بديعة مليئة بالحكمة والتعقّل. كلام وجيه وسليم. أسلوب هادئ، راكز ومميز في تركيب الجمل والتعبير عن المشاعر. وصف دقيق لمكنونات النفس البشرية وما يتخللها من تناقضات. استطاع ريلكه أن يسبر تلك الأغوار ويشاركنا بما نشعر به. يغوص في مفهوم الوحدة وما الذي تفضي إليه تلك الوحدة إن حَسُنَ توظيفها والاستفادة منها. وجدت نفسي أسافر إلى مكان بعيد جدًا حيث السمو الروحي والوجداني. مكان فيه الكثير من السكينة والطمأنينة والمفارقة تكمن في وجود ذلك المكان البعيد في داخل كُلٍ مِنّا. كيف نتعامل مع الحزن والحب والعلم والتجربة والوحدة والأصدقاء؟ كيف نفعل كل هذا وأكثر؟ نصائح غاية في الرقة. تقرأ الرسائل وتتأمل في تلك الصياغة البديعة للجُمل والأحداث. تطفو وتسكن روحك. تشعر أن كل شيء على ما يرام.
Profile Image for Constantina Maud.
Author 6 books131 followers
October 21, 2019
I could just paste here all the passages I highlighted while reading this last month during my breaks from writing--but that would mean pasting practically the entire book.
Because it is that good.
You don't have to be a writer to truly enjoy this heartwarming read. Through this correspondence revolving around the writing craft, Rilke gives us glimpses into his general worldview and way of life convictions. His insight and existential approach on themes like anxiety, solitude and empathy are deeply relatable in our very own day and age as well.
Icing on the cake: his feminist views, at least in this book, for which he undeniably deserves even more credit.
A must-read.

"Perhaps you will discover 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 reward might come from outside. For the creator must be a world for himself and must find everything in himself."
Displaying 1 - 30 of 8,497 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.