Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Maria Rilke
(Penguin Classics)

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Originally written to a young man considering a career in the German military, Rainer Maria Rilke's beautiful letters explore a huge range of subjects delicately and with a passionate sensitivity. The recipient, Franz Kappus, began to send his poetry to the 27-year-old Rilke when a student, seeking advice. Their correspondence lasted from 1902 to 1908, and Kappus collated and published the ten letters after Rilke's death. The letters contain insights which are as profound today as when they were written, touching on sexuality, love, creativity and other aspects of the human condition. The book is perenially and hugely influential in the US, where it enjoys the accolade of being Lady Gaga's favourite book.

About Rainer Maria Maria Rilke

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Rainer Maria Rilke was born in Prague in 1875 and traveled throughout Europe for much of his adult life, returning frequently to Paris. There he came under the influence of the sculptor Auguste Rodin and produced much of his finest verse, most notably the two volumes of New Poems as well as the great modernist novel The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge. Among his other books of poems are The Book of Images and The Book of Hours. He lived the last years of his life in Switzerland, where he completed his two poetic masterworks, the Duino Elegies and Sonnets to Orpheus. He died of leukemia in December 1926. Joel Agee has also translated Elias Canetti, Friedrich Dürenmatt, Gottfried Benn, and another collection of Rilke's letters, Rilke and Benvenuta: An Intimate Correspondence. He won the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize for his translation of Heinrich von Kleist's Penthesilea, a verse play. He is the author of Twelve Years: An American Boyhood in East Germany and lives in Brooklyn.
Published April 7, 2011 by Penguin. 150 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Letters to a Young Poet

The Guardian

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First, let us admit that there is a Rilke problem: Rilke.

May 12 2011 | Read Full Review of Letters to a Young Poet (Peng...

The Wall Street Journal

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It's fair to say that the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke was bedeviled by God, or what the poet called God.

Aug 05 2012 | Read Full Review of Letters to a Young Poet (Peng...

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